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Tahlia McGrath was separated from her team mates and wore a mask while waiting to bat for Australia in the Commonwealth Games cricket final against India.
Australia beat India to win the women’s Twenty20 cricket gold medal at the Commonwealth Games but the final was shrouded in controversy after Aussie all-rounder Tahlia McGrath was allowed to play despite testing positive for Covid-19.
McGrath tested positive on the morning of the match in Birmingham. She was given the green light to play with the full support of the ICC, the Australian Commonwealth Games team and the Commonwealth Games Federation.
The Aussie all-rounder cleared to play against India despite testing positive on the morning of the match.
India weren’t happy as Australia went on to win a pulsating final by nine runs.
Reports suggested India weren’t told about McGrath’s test result until the toss was made, and didn’t want her to play.
Had the match been played in Australia, McGrath could not have played. But the Commonwealth Games rules are more relaxed to match the laws of host nation England.
McGrath was distanced from her team mates – she did not line up with her team-mates during the national anthems and was separated and wore a face mask as she waited to bat.
She removed the mask as she batted, only lasting four balls and scoring two runs as Australia amassed 161-8.
McGrath took an early catch – and waved away her team mates as they came to celebrate – but she couldn’t claim a wicket while bowling, ending with 0-24 from her two overs as Australia restricted India to 152 in reply.
The Australian Commonwealth Games team announced the decision to allow McGrath to play was made in consultation with the International Cricket Council and Australian medical staff.
“Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA) can confirm that cricketer Tahlia McGrath has returned a positive test for Covid-19,” the CGA statement read.
“CGA clinical staff have consulted with the Commonwealth Games Federation RACEG (Results Analysis Clinical Expert Group) team and match officials, and McGrath is taking part in today’s final against India.
“McGrath presented to team management with mild symptoms on Sunday and subsequently returned the positive test. She was named in the starting XI at the toss and the International Cricket Council (ICC) approved her participation in the final.
“In consultation with the CGF and the ICC, CGA and Cricket Australia medical staff have implemented a range of comprehensive protocols which will be observed throughout the game and for post-match activity, to minimize the risk of transmission to all players and officials.
“The CGA has maintained a comprehensive Covid-19 risk mitigation strategy for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, with testing protocols over and above those required by the Birmingham 2022 Organizing Committee.”