Australian all-rounder Tahlia McGrath was cleared to feature in the gold medal win over India in the Commonwealth Games women’s T20 cricket final on Sunday, despite testing positive for Covid-19 just hours before the draw.
Australian officials have released a statement explaining that although McGrath tested positive and had mild symptoms, she was cleared to play after consultation with team and match officials as well as the clinical analysis expert panel. Commonwealth Games Federation results.
“McGrath presented to team management with mild symptoms on Sunday and later returned the positive test,” Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA) said. “She was named in the starting XI in the draw and the International Cricket Council (ICC) approved her participation in the final.
“In consultation with the CGF (Commonwealth Games Federation) and ICC, Cricket Australia medical staff have put in place a range of comprehensive protocols which will be observed throughout the match and for post-match activity. match 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 beyond those required by the Birmingham 2022 Organizing Committee.”
The CGA did not say what protocols were in place and would not comment further.
“I think it’s been handled extremely well from an Australian perspective,” said Australian batsman Beth Mooney, her gold medal around her neck. “Having protocols in place and making sure everyone on the team was comfortable with her, they did all the right things.
“Obviously towards the draw it got a bit hairy for a while, but I think it’s no different if someone is playing and they have a cold or the flu.
“From my point of view, the right decision was made and we just went out and played it.
“It was not something in our control, the people who are paid to make these decisions made them.”
McGrath did not line up with her teammates during the national anthems. However, she went out to bat without wearing a face mask.
She was Australia’s top scorer in Birmingham before the final, but against India she faced just four balls before being dismissed for two.
When McGrath left the field, she did not return to cover. She sat apart from her teammates.
“It was unusual, but we have our doctor on tour and we listened to everything she said,” said Australian all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner. “She said it was safe for her to play, obviously we didn’t mingle with her, so we all felt safe enough there.
“It was just one of those things that had to happen to someone in this competition and unfortunately it was her.”