Why did Tahlia McGrath play CWG2022 Final despite being tested COVID positive?

It was the clash of two giants in Australia and India for the finals of women’s cricket at the Commonwealth Games and India just before the start of the game with their thoughtful gesture won the hearts of all involved and around.

 

Why did Tahlia McGrath play CWG2022 Final despite being tested COVID positive?  PC: Getty Images
Why did Tahlia McGrath play CWG2022 Final despite being tested COVID positive? PC: Getty Images

 

Tahlia McGrath on the morning of the finals had mild symptoms and presented to the team officials with mild symptoms and subsequently returned a positive test. A statement from Commonwealth Games Australia 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.”

India before the toss were updated with the news of Tahlia McGrath testing positive for Covid and with her having received clearance from the officials, Harmanpreet Kaur felt the side okay with her playing because she wasn’t very ill. Harmanpreet Kaur in her media interaction quoted, “They informed us before the toss. That was something not in our control because the Commonwealth has to take the decision. We were OK because she (Tahlia McGrath) wasn’t very ill, so we just decided to play.”

This was a great bit of support shown by the Indian unit and the sportsmanship was lauded. Harmanpreet Kaur with a wider lens thought if Tahlia McGrath doesn’t take the field for the final it could well be hard-hitting for her as she further quoted, “We had to show the sportsman’s spirit. We’re happy that we didn’t say no to Tahlia because that (missing the final) would have been very hard-hitting for her.”

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Tahlia McGrath having received clearance to feature in Australia’s XI saw her bind to a few rules as well which she very responsibly stuck to. McGrath had skipped the anthems before the match and wore a mask while watching on from distance during the team’s batting innings. While fielding, she did bowl and even held a catch that came her way. She kept her distance from any sort of physical touch and continued the same till the very end and again very responsibly negotiated through the medal-handing ceremony as well.

Teammate, Megan Schutt after a point in the post-match couldn’t resist keeping Tahlia McGrath away from the celebrations as she quoted, “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. The strangest part of it all (was) just not being able to celebrate with her and obviously, when you’re part of a game that’s so thrilling like that, that’s all you want to do. (The rules are) out of our control … all we can do is try our best to maintain keeping it out of our squad and hey, we almost got through the whole tournament without it.

“I think Tahlia was just happy to play, in Australia, it probably wouldn’t be the case, so the fact that Tahlia got to go out there and take an absolutely crucial catch and be a part of this is really very special.”

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Tahlia post-match was seen around the rest of the squad making physical contact and had some heat come her way, but teammate, Beth Mooney stepped in to shut voices as she quoted, “It’s a real shame that in the elite sport you get publicly shamed for having Covid when over here probably 90 percent in this room have it right now. No one is testing, no one is doing anything. It’s a shame she couldn’t really celebrate with us.

“At the same time, I think the right decision was made in terms of letting her play given we’ve spoken about protocols and making sure we were trying to keep everyone safe throughout the game. Hopefully, people aren’t too upset by it.”

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