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Seven forced into major commentary change



A member of Seven’s broadcast staff tested positive to Covid-19 on Sunday night and before the first ball on Monday, a number of high-profile commentators were required to take Covid-19 tests and isolate until they received a negative result.Catch every moment of The Ashes live and ad-break free during play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-days free now.On Monday morning, Channel 7 released a statement confirming the roster of callers would be completely different from the previous day – the likes of Ricky Ponting, Glenn McGrath, Alison Mitchell and Ian Botham would not feature in the day two coverage at the MCG.“The Seven Network confirms it is responding after a member of staff working on the Ashes broadcast at the MCG tested positive to COVID-19 on Sunday night,” the statement read.“The staff member was asymptomatic at time of testing and has been in self isolation since the moment the positive test was returned.“Seven is activating its Covid measures to ensure the health and safety of all staff, as well as the broader community, and is working in line with all relevant guidelines and regulations. We are working closely with the MCG operational team and Cricket Australia.“Just as the broader community is experiencing, we have Covid response scenarios to ensure the impact on Seven‘s broadcast is limited. There have been a number of changes to today’s production schedule, which will be led by Alistair Nicholson, Andy Maher and Jason Richardson with expert comments from Lisa Sthalekar, Brad Hodge, Callum Ferguson, Michael Atherton and Dirk Nannes.“Seven‘s number one priority is the health, safety and welfare of all staff and the community.”Former Australian seamer and Channel 7 presenter Trent Copeland tweeted: “Waiting for test results & watching on from the hotel. Big day of Ashes cricket ahead!”ASHES LIVE BLOG: MCG Test day two coverageMeanwhile, the England camp was also rocked by a Covid-19 scare, with the players and staff told to stay in their hotel following a positive test result among the family group.The players underwent rapid tests on Monday morning before they were given the all-clear to leave the hotel and make their way to the MCG.Play was originally scheduled to get underway at 10.30pm AEDT, but the delay meant the first ball had been pushed back to 11am local time.Twenty minutes before play was scheduled to get underway at the MCG, Cricket Australia confirmed four members of the England camp had tested positive to Covid-19 – two support staff and two family members.“The affected individuals are currently isolating,” the CA statement read.“The entire playing group and all other support staff have undertaken Rapid Antigen Tests this morning and all have tested negative. The England Cricket team will also have PCR tests today, and both teams will take extra precautions throughout play. Both playing squads remain unchanged.“There is currently no further impact on fans or other parts of the venue. Cricket Australia and the MCC will continue to monitor the situation and follow the endorsed Victorian Government Covid-Safe Event Plan.”England players and staff appeared to be social distancing while training on the MCG ahead of day two.The drama comes after the day-night Adelaide Test suffered its own Covid-19 scare, with two members of the venue’s broadcast crew testing positive to the virus ahead of day four.Australian captain Pat Cummins did not feature in the pink-ball Test after he was deemed a close contact of someone who had tested positive to Covid-19.England was rolled for 185 on day one of the Boxing Day Test at the MCG. Australia will resume at 1/61, with opener Marcus Harris unbeaten on 20.

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