Australia’s Ashes stars suffered a swine flu scare after one of the journalists covering Ricky Ponting’s squad was diagnosed with symptoms similiar to the illness currently sweeping across England.
There have been an estimated 100,000 new cases of swine flu reported in England since last week and 840 patients are in hospital with the virus, so Cricket Australia were quick to act when News Limited reporter Ben Dorries found he may have been infected.
Dorries became ill during the second Ashes Test at Lord’s this week.
A statement issued by Cricket Australia said: “Australian team medical staff have asked that Ben quarantine himself away from the Australian team and other cricketing media for the next three days. These measures are being taken as a precautionary step.”
Groundsman fears pitch battle
Birmingham: Australia’s hopes of drawing level in the Ashes by winning next week’s third Test could be dented by the poor state of the pitch at Edgbaston.
With the series poised at 1-0 to England after their victory at Lord’s this week, Ponting’s team desperately need a positive result in Birmingham, but Edgbaston groundsman Steve Rouse says bad weather has left the playing surface looking “like jelly”.
“It’s a nightmare,” Rouse said. “We’ve had two actual dry days in the last 10 and the wicket is like jelly.”
Flintoff vows to make Edgbaston date
London: Andrew Flintoff has reiterated his intention to play through the pain barrier as he seeks to get fit enough to face Australia at Edgbaston.
With the loss of Pietersen following Achilles surgery Tuesday, Flintoff’s availability is now of vital importance as England bid to extend the 1-0 lead. “There are no guarantees for anybody. But I have three Test matches left, and I’d do anything to get through, maybe put myself through things I wouldn’t do otherwise,” Flintoff, 31, said.
Lee’s ruled out of tour match
Northampton: Brett Lee’s hopes of featuring in the third Test suffered a major blow on Thursday as the injury-plagued pacer was ruled out of Australia’s tour match against Northamptonshire.