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Why Australian Tahlia McGrath was allowed to play Commonwealth Games women’s cricket final despite Covid positive test

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In the women’s cricket final between Australia and India in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, some surreal scenes played out in Edgbaston on Sunday. Australian all-rounder Tahlia McGrath was cleared to play the gold medal match despite returning a Covid positive test earlier in the day. She sat away from her masked teammates, waiting for her turn to bat, and when Australia fielded, she bowled two overs and waved off teammates who rushed to celebrate after taking the catch from Shafali Verma. However, after the nine-run win by Australas, the distance standards were forgotten in the frenzy of the team celebration.

The toss was delayed by nearly 15 minutes, even as the inclusion of Tahlia McGraths was discussed. Before we learned the coin toss… that was something we had no control over and whatever the Commonwealth decision was, we had to follow it, said Indian Captain Harmanpreet Kaur.

We can confirm that cricketer Tahlia McGrath has returned a positive test for Covid-19. CGA (Commonwealth Games Australia) clinical staff have consulted with the Commonwealth Games Federation RACEG (Results Analysis Clinical Expert Group) team and competition officials, and McGrath will compete in the final against India today, Cricket Australia (CA) said.

McGrath presented himself to the team leadership on Sunday with mild symptoms and then returned the positive test. She was named in the starting eleven at the toss and the International Cricket Council (ICC) approved her entry into the final.

In consultation with the CGF and the ICC, the medical staff of CGA and Cricket Australia have implemented a series of comprehensive protocols that will be followed during the game and for post-match activities 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 going beyond those required by the Birmingham 2022 Organizing Committee.

A positive Covid test does not necessarily exclude an athlete from competing in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, as the hosts UK guidelines for isolation are relatively relaxed. Players returning positive tests must be assessed accordingly on a case-by-case basis to determine their eligibility to compete. That is determined taking into account several factors, such as how severely a player has been affected by illness, how contagious the player is likely to be, which sport the player will participate in, and the nature of the facility in which the particular discipline is used. being held.

Megan Schutt, the Australian navigator, said McGrath felt absolutely fine. We were all happy to play, she was happy to play, said Megan Schutt. She’s feeling absolutely fine so I think the positive result was a bit of a shock to her, but that’s Covid, wouldn’t get through it all.

We didn’t want to get in trouble, we felt bad for Tahlia in the end there, Schutt said. Obviously being part of a game this exciting is all you want to do [celebrate] and in the end screw it if we get Covid so be it.

Australia opener Beth Mooney said a top athlete should not be publicly shamed for a Covid attack. It’s a real shame that in elite sports you’re publicly shamed for having Covid, when here probably 90% of the people in this room have it now, Mooney said.

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