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Ashes: England add former all-rounder Hollioake to coaching staff ahead of Sydney Test

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Sydney, Dec 31 (IANS) England on Friday added former ODI captain Adam Hollioake to their coaching staff ahead of the fourth Ashes Test in Sydney. Hollioake joining will help a severely depleted English coaching staff with four main members, including head coach Chris Silverwood, left in Melbourne due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the touring camp.

Silverwood is isolating due to being in close contact with a family member testing positive for COVID-19 while spin coach Jeetan Patel, fast bowling mentor Jon Lewis and strength and conditioning lead Darren Veness all tested positive for the virus. Batting coach Graham Thorpe is doubling up as a head coach with help of consultants Ant Botha and James Foster.

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“It is an honour to be asked to come down and help the boys. It has been a tough tour but if I can help in any way then that is what I’ll do. I’ve jumped in the car to make things a bit safer COVID wise, but I’ll still have to go through some protocols when I get to Sydney. We’ve got to make sure we keep a very short-term view for these next two Test matches. You can’t change what has happened in those 12 days of cricket but you can influence what the next two games hold for you. I just want the players to show they are capable at this level,” Hollioake was quoted as saying by mirror.co.uk.

Hollioake, a former all-rounder who played four Tests and 35 ODIs between 1997-99 apart from captaining England in one-dayers for a brief period, will join Joe Root and Co. from his residence in Gold Coast but with him coming from outside New South Wales (NSW), he will work with the England team only from outside.

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“We are speaking to Adam to see if we can get him to come in, he’s up in the Gold Coast and I spoke to him yesterday. He’s keen, so we’re looking to see if we can push that through. I know Ad (Adam) really well. Adam is not just another set of hands. He can bring a bit of energy to the dressing room and the philosophical side of life as well, which is very important in times like this. He’ll bring that nice sense of perspective. He was in good spirits yesterday,” said Thorpe before leaving with the England team for Sydney.

Australia, too, have been hit by COVID-19 as middle-order batter Travis Head tested positive for the virus and will miss the Sydney Test. In his absence, Australia have added Mitchell Marsh, Josh Inglis, and Nic Maddinson to the Ashes squad as a ‘precautionary measure’. The fourth match of the Ashes will start at the Sydney Cricket Ground from January 5.

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–IANS

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