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The Ashes: England coaching staff in midst of COVID-19 crisis; Hollioake too ruled out

Sydney: The England cricket team coaching staff is in the midst of a COIVD-19 crisis with the touring side’s emergency coach Adam Hollioake, who was to stand in for Chris Silverwood, being deemed a close contact to a person who has tested positive for the virus.

Hollioake was planning to arrive in Sydney from Gold Coast later on Sunday ahead of the fourth Test to stand in for head coach Chris Silverwood, who is still quarantining in a hotel in Melbourne, but with the latest development, the 50-year-old Hollioake has also been ruled out.

Former England batter Graham Thorpe will now have to work with a fielding and a wicketkeeping consultant, according to on Sunday. The fourth Ashes Tests commences at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on January 5. Australia have taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-Test series.

Both of England’s bowling coaches — fast-bowling coach Jon Lewis and spin coach Jeetan Patel — are also in isolation after testing positive and Thorpe will only have the services of fielding consultant Ant Botha and wicketkeeping consultant James Foster as England look to turn around their losing run in the New Year.

The Australian squad, however, is free of COVID-19 worries as all the players barring Travis Head – who is self-isolating in Melbourne – have returned negative tests.

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