England vs NZ, 3rd Test

England team management has downplayed concerns about a possible Covid outbreak within the squad for the third Test at Headingley after the team’s batting coach Marcus Trescothick tested positive for the virus the same day captain Ben Stokes was out with an unspecified disease.

Trescothick was absent from the first day of training at Headingley ahead of Thursday’s final test against New Zealand, and has instead been isolated at home where he will be monitored daily. Details about his return to the set-up will be announced in due course.

At the time of writing, the ECB is not imposing general tests on the rest of the players and staff unless they show symptoms. A spokesperson for the organization confirmed that they are all currently symptom-free.

The same goes for the captain, Stokes, who was also not on deck in Leeds due to illness. He did take a test on Tuesday morning that was negative. He will not test again unless his symptoms are specific to Covid-19.

Stokes fell ill over the weekend while back in Cockermouth and has therefore yet to join the team in Leeds. He was originally scheduled to be on site Monday with the squad that would officially meet on the ground the following morning for afternoon practice. Stokes is expected to be in attendance on Wednesday and be able to take his position in the XI ahead of Thursday’s start, with England leading New Zealand 2-0 and entering the final test.

Trescothick’s positive test is England’s first in the series, unlike their opponents who have faced absences in recent weeks. Henry Nicholls, Blair Tickner, Kane Williamson, Michael Bracewell and Devon Conway were knocked down on this tour, along with two staff members. The most dramatic was Williamson, whose diagnosis came on the eve of the second Test at Trent Bridge, which left him out of the game and forced to captain Tom Latham.

Williamson, along with Bracewell, returned to practice on Tuesday morning as Conway’s five-day isolation period has passed. Speaking to the media, Trent Boult affirmed a clean statement of health across the board: “Everyone is healthy and available for selection,” he said.

17.42GMT This story has been updated in response to news of Marcus Trescothick’s positive Covid test

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