Jess Jonassen tests positive for Covid-19, to miss the start of tri-series against Pakistan, Ireland

Jonassen will miss the two out of the four games that Australia are scheduled to play.

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Jess Jonassen
Jess Jonassen. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

Australian women’s team spinner Jess Jonassen is set to miss the start of the tri-series against Pakistan and Ireland after testing positive for the Covid-19 virus. Jonassen returned with a positive test and as a result, was put under isolation in Brisbane on the eve of the team’s departure for the United Kingdom. She will hence miss the first two games of the tri-series.

Jonassen will join the squad next week in Northern Ireland after completing her isolation period and departing on Monday. As a backup, Tasmania all-rounder Heather Graham will replace Jonassen in the team and she will fly to the UK soon. All other members of the team will reach Belfast on Tuesday. Graham traveled as a reserve during this year’s ODI World Cup and was briefly promoted to the starting lineup when Ashleigh Gardner had to pull out after contracting the virus.

Heather Graham new to the international arena

Graham does not have much experience of the international setup, having played just one ODI and that too back in 2019. She has not made her debut in the T20I setup yet. Jonassen has been Australia’s first-choice left-arm spinner not just because of the lack of options, but also because she is one of the finest all-rounders in the squad.

In her absence, there are chances of Alana King and Amanda-Jade Wellington grouping together in the playing combination, just like they did during the World Cup earlier in the year, as the team falls short of a legitimate left-arm spin-bowling option. The T20 tri-series consists of two games against Ireland and Pakistan each and it will serve as practice for the teams before they begin their Commonwealth Games campaign.

Australia haven’t played any international game ever since their glorious Women’s World Cup campaign. They were crowned the champions of the ODI World Cup in April 2022, and since then their schedule did not have any game. Thus, the upcoming tri-series would be their first international outing after a break of more than three months.

Tri-series Schedule:

July 16: Australia v Pakistan

July 17: Australia v Ireland

July 19: Ireland v Pakistan

July 21: Australia v Ireland

July 23: Australia v Pakistan

July 24: Ireland v Pakistan

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