ICC match referee David Boon tests COVID-19 positive: Details here
International Cricket Council (ICC) match referee David Boon has tested positive for COVID-19. Steve Bernard, who is in the international panel of ICC referees, will replace the 61-year-old in the fourth Ashes Test, starting January 5 at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). Earlier, it was reported that England head coach Chris Silverwood will miss the fourth Test after being named a close COVID-19 contact.
- Former batter, Boon, represented Australia in 107 Tests and 181 ODIs from 1984 to 1996.
- In 2011, he officiated in his first game as ICC match referee (Zimbabwe vs Pakistan at Bulawayo).
- Boon has officiated in a total of 64 Tests, 146 ODIs, 78 T20Is.
- He has been the match referee in seven T20 World Cup games and 20 T20s.
ESPNcricinfo confirmed that Boon remains asymptomatic. He is fully vaccinated and has had a booster shot. He will remain in Melbourne, where the third Test was held. Boon will quarantine for 10 days as per the health guidelines of the Victorian state government. Therefore, he could officiate in the fifth Test, starting January 14 at the Bellerive Oval, Hobart.
In another development, England coach Chris Silverwood has been ruled out of the fourth Test. As per reports, one of his family members tested positive for COVID-19. Silverwood will now undergo quarantine for 10 days. England's assistant coach Graham Thorpe has replaced Silverwood for the fourth Test. Notably, none of the players has returned a positive COVID-19 test as of now.
The total number of COVID-19 cases within the touring party has risen to seven. Before Day 2 of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne, England's support staff members and others from their families returned positive results. As a result, play was delayed by 30 minutes.
Australia retained the Ashes after winning the MCG Test by an innings and 14 runs. They bowled out England for just 68 in the second innings, thereby winning inside three days. Scott Boland decimated the English batting line-up with a ferocious six-wicket haul. Australia have an unassailable 3-0 lead, going into the New Years Test at the SCG.