Aussies claim epic cricket gold as star plays with Covid in Comm Games farce

Home » Aussies claim epic cricket gold as star plays with Covid in Comm Games farce
Aussies claim epic cricket gold as star plays with Covid in Comm Games farce

Good luck trying to name any national sporting team on the planet as red-hot as the Australian women’s cricket team right now

The Aussies did it again on Monday morning (AEST) in the Commonwealth Games final when they showed extreme class in the nail-biting final overs to defeat India by 17 runs.

The win gives Australia a never-before-seen trifecta as ODI world champions, T20 world champions and Commonwealth Games gold medallists.

The drama at the death was almost matched by the drama at the start of the day’s play as it was revealed following the toss of the coin that Aussie allrounder Tahlia McGrath had tested positive for Covid-19 the morning of the match. Despite the test, McGrath was allowed to play, with the full support of the ICC, the Australian Commonwealth Games team and the Commonwealth Games Federation.

Best team in the world. Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images.Source: Getty Images
Jess Jonassen celebrates the wicket of Taniya Bhatia. Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images.Source: Getty Images

There were also reports the Indian team was not told about McGrath’s test result until the toss of the coin – causing a delay of more than 10 minutes for the game to start. Reports in India claimed the Indian team wanted McGrath to be stood down.

Photos of McGrath embracing teammates as they celebrated on the podium during the medal presentations showed what a farce the whole situation was.

McGrath was seen isolated from her teammates and wearing a face mask as Australia batted in the first innings. She had removed the mask as she walked out to bat.

Her innings only lasted four balls, but the bizarreness of her place in the game was seen in the second innings when she took a catch and had to tell teammates to back away from her as they ran to celebrate the wicket with her.

Tahlia McGrath with her teammates on the podium.Source: Supplied
Tahlia McGrath, Alana King, Jess Jonassen and Alyssa Healy of Team Australia. Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images.Source: Getty Images

Her batting cameo was a minor ripple as Australia reached 8/161 at the end of their 20 overs.

India’s run chase was looking good at 2/118 after 14 overs, however, that’s when Ash Gardner turned the contest with two crucial wickets as India lost 3/3 in two overs.

It left India needing 41 from the final four overs with five wickets in hand.

However, the wickets kept tumbling from there and India found themselves needing 16 runs from the final two overs.

India then lost four wickets in nine balls, crumbling at the finish line, bowled all out for 152 from 19.3 overs.

Earlier, 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.

Tahlia McGrath isolated. Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images.Source: Getty Images
Tahlia McGrath isolated from teammates. Photo: Channel 7.Source: Channel 7

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.

Tahlia McGrath of Team Australia looks on whilst wearing a face mas. Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images.Source: Getty Images
Australia’s Tahlia McGrath walks back to the dressing room. Photo by Darren Staples / AFP.Source: AFP

“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 duties”.

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.

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