Australia head coach Andrew McDonald tests positive for Covid-19 ahead of Sri Lanka tour departure

Written by Sumit Seth

Australia’s newly-appointed head coach Andrew McDonald will miss the first part of the Sri Lanka tour after the former all-rounder tested positive for Covid-19 on Tuesday, a day before the team’s departure for the island nation. The Australian T20 side is set to leave for Sri Lanka on Wednesday without their head coach, who will remain in isolation in Melbourne for seven days.

Assistant coach Michael Di Venuto will play the role of the interim coach till McDonald joins the squad, which is likely to be in Colombo ahead of the second T20. Australia are set to play three T20Is, five ODIs and two Tests in their first tour to Sri Lanka in six years. The tour will begin with the first T20I in Colombo on June 7.

This Sri Lanka tour is set to be McDonald’s first assignment as Australa’s full-time head coach after being appointed in role post Justin Langer resignation. He had a successful tour to Pakistan as the interim coach of the side earlier this year.

Australia will take a new-look backroom set-up to Sri Lanka, with three new assistant coaches, a new physiotherapist and a new psychologist on board.

Former Test and Victoria seamer Clint McKay will be part of the coaching staff for the T20 and ODI component of the tour, joining Di Venuto and spin coach Sri Sriram.

New Zealand icon Daniel Vettori and ex Victoria and Melbourne Renegades assistant Andre Borovec will then start their tenure as full-time assistant coaches for the two-Test series in Galle that begins on June 29.

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Sumit Seth