Australia might be without its star leg-spinner Adam Zampa for a crunch T20 World Cup clash against Sri Lanka in Perth tonight (10pm AEDT).
Zampa has tested positive for Covid-19, placing him in extreme doubt for the must-win fixture — although he is displaying only minor symptoms.
It would serve as a major blow for Australia, which was shocked by New Zealand in its opening fixture and is now fighting for survival in the tournament.
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The World Cup rules state that Covid-positive players are still allowed to play, as Ireland’s George Dockrell did on the weekend.
Zampa would need to travel to the match seperately and would remain somewhat segregated from the playing group on the night.
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It would not be a completely foreign situation for Australia after Tahlia McGrath played in the Commonwealth Games gold medal match this year with Covid.
Should Zampa not feature, he could be replaced by spinner Ashton Agar, unless selectors opt for a pace-heavy line-up and count on Glenn Maxwell to bowl four overs of spin.
In that instance, the door would be open to Cameron Green or Nathan Ellis.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Zampa’s symptoms are not severe although there remains concerns about him playing.
Australia needs to beat Sri Lanka in Perth, and handsomely, given the big blow its net run rate took in the 89-run loss to New Zealand in Sydney.
The hosts are expected to retain the same XI with the exception of replacing Zampa, should he be deemed unfit to play.
MORE TO COME
Australia XI (predicted): David Warner, Aaron Finch, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Tim David, Matthew Wade (wk), Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Adam Zampa/Ashton Agar, Josh Hazlewood
Sri Lanka XI (predicted): Kusal Mendis (wk), Pathum Nissanka, Dhananjaya de Silva, Charith Asalanka, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Chamika Karunaratne, Maheesh Theekshana, Pramod Madushan, Binura Fernando