Australia pacer Megan Schutt said that her team was happy to play alongside Tahlia McGrath, who returned Covid-19 positive, ahead of the gold medal match against India at the Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2022.
The Covid-19 rules at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham are more relaxed, which allowed the International Cricket Council (ICC) to approve Tahlia’s participation in the all-important final.
McGrath isolated herself from teammates and donned a mask during Australia's innings. She, however, removed the mask while walking in to bat and during fielding. When she took a catch in the third over of India’s innings, she gestured her teammates to stay away when they ran to celebrate the dismissal of Shafali Verma.
"We were all happy to play, she was happy to play," Schutt said as quoted by The Guardian.
"She feels absolutely fine so I think the positive result was a bit of a shock to her, but that’s Covid isn’t it we’re all going to live through it.
In a nail-biter, Australia defeated India by 9 runs to win the gold medal match. When the last Indian wicket fell, Tahlia McGrath couldn’t restrain and joined the team huddle to celebrate the victory
"We didn’t want to get in trouble, we felt bad for Tahlia at the end there. Obviously when you’re part of a game that’s so thrilling like that, that’s all you want to do [is celebrate] and at the end screw it, if we get Covid, so be it."
McGrath, however, was seen sporting the mask while collecting her medal on the podium.
The Commonwealth Games Australia in a statement said that its "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 Commonwealth Games Federation and the ICC, Commonwealth Games Australia 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.
"Commonwealth Games Australia 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."