Aussie star Tahlia McGrath is playing in the Commonwealth Games cricket final despite testing positivefor Covid-19 just hours before the start of play.

McGrath presented with mild symptoms on the morning before the game and then returned a positive result after speaking to Aussie team officials.

The Australian Commonwealth Games team said comprehensive protocols have been put in place. McGrath was seen wearing a face mask and was isolated from the rest of her teammates as Australia batted in the first innings.

She had removed the mask as she walked out to bat.

Her innings only lasted four balls and she was dismissed for just two runs when Radha Yadav took a ripping catch.

However, she began to make an impact in India’s innings when she stood under a high ball and took a good catch — only for all her teammates to back away without being able to celebrate with her. McGrath’s catch left India 2/22 as Shafali Verma fell for 11 runs.

Australia managed to reach 8/161 at the end of their 20 overs, giving India a total of 162 to chase.

Reports in India claim the Indian team was only told about McGrath’s positive before the toss of the coin, resulting in a delay to the start of play of more than 10 minutes.

It has also been reported India wanted McGrath to be stood down for the game when they were first informed.

McGrath was absent from the lineups when the teams sang the national anthems, News Corp Australia reports.

The Aussie Commonwealth Games team announced the decision to allow McGrath to play was made in consultation with the ICC 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 minimise 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 Organising Committee.”

Indian sport commentators were fuming about the ruling that has allowed McGrath to play.

Bloomberg News reporter Akshat Rathi described it as a “dereliction of dutires”.

He posted on Twitter: “I don’t understand how the rules are allowing Tahlia McGrath on the field playing a cricket match after having tested positive for Covid-19. Dereliction of duty by authorities”.

Sports reporter Naveen Sharma said it was “shameless” by Australia.

“Australians always preach about right or wrong but they forget everything when it comes to them,” he posted on Twitter.

Other commentators said the ruling opens up Pandora’s Box.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.