AUS vs SA | Matt Renshaw plays Sydney Test despite testing positive for Covid-19, Peter Handscomb named substitute fielder

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On his long-awaited return to the Australian Test lineup, Matt Renshaw suffered a massive blow after testing positive for Covid-19 ahead of the Sydney Test against South Africa. The 26-year-old, however, will continue to feature in the match, with Peter Handscomb to play as a substitute fielder.

After nearly a five-year-long absence, Matt Renshaw was all set to return to Australia’s playing XI after being named as injury cover for Cameron Green ahead of the New Year’s Test in Sydney. However before even the match began, the 26-year-old Queenslander made headlines on Wednesday for something which he would not have hoped for as he felt unwell on Day 1 after testing positive for Covid-19.

Though Cricket Australia confirmed Renshaw will ‘continue to take part in the match’ despite illness, and named Peter Handscomb as a substitute fielder if the situation intrigues during the contest. Renshaw was separated from the rest of the squad and was seen sitting on a plastic chair away from the team dugout on the outfield during the Test's first session.

“Matthew Renshaw's Test recall is off to a rotten start after testing positive for COVID-19 on the morning of the NRMA Insurance series finale against South Africa,” Cricket Australia said in a statement. “Back in the side following a near five-year absence, Renshaw returned a positive rapid antigen test after feeling unwell before play for the SCG Test.”

The ICC permits Covid-19 replacement players in Tests, provided the symptoms occur during the match. As per its guidelines, the rule is ‘in line with concussion replacements’, allowing the match referee to approve the ‘nearest like-for-like replacement’.

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