Monday 8 August 2022 07:16 AM Australia's women's T20 cricket side slammed after fielding Covid-positive ... trends now
Australia's women's cricket team is today at the centre of a scandal at the Commonwealth Games after fielding a player who had Covid-19.
Tahlia McGrath was permitted to play at Edgbaston in Birmingham yesterday despite testing positive. She bowled and batted in the match and also took the catch that dismissed India's star opener Shafali Verma as the Southern Stars took gold.
Ms McGrath later wore a mask at the medal ceremony and as she celebrated gold with her teammates on the podium, where she had her arms around Beth Mooney and Alana King.
Tahlia is understood to be the first player known to have Covid to take part in an international cricket match, with Birmingham allowing each positive athlete to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. But critics have said she should not have been allowed to play.
There were also claims of hypocrisy by the Australians, given their very hard line on lockdowns and vaccination to slow the spread. Their strict rules led to Novak Djokovic being excluded from the Australian Open tennis and deported - despite him not having Covid-19.
McGrath had woken up with mild symptoms yesterday morning and then returned a positive test. However, she was still selected in the Aussies’ XI after tournament organisers approved her participation following consultations before the toss, which was delayed.
McGrath did not line up with her team-mates during the pre-match national anthems and did not join them in the dugout while they were batting, instead sitting in the stands wearing a mask.
She batted at No4 without a mask before she was dismissed after scoring just two runs off four balls. McGrath then bowled two overs for 24 runs and also took a catch, when she held up her hands to warn her fellow players not to come and celebrate with her.
Australia won the first-ever women's cricket gold after posting 161-8 from their 20 overs, then bowling India out for 152. McGrath stood on the podium with her team-mates again wearing a mask.
Tahlia McGrath takes the catch (left) that dismissed India's star opener Shafali Verma as the Southern Stars took gold. She warned her teammates not to come to celebrate with her (right)
Tahlia McGrath wears a mask as she puts her arms around Beth Mooney (L) and Alana King (R) as the ticker tape falls following their win over India
Tahlia McGrath runs up to bowl as the women's cricket final at the Commonwealth Games was shrouded in controversy
Meg Lanning of Team Australia celebrates with team-mates after winning the Cricket T20 - Gold Medal match between Team India and Team Australia as Tahlia McGrath stand away having tested positive for covid but was allowed to play
McGrath receives her medal whislst wearing a mask at Edgbaston. She was allowed to play but had to sit away from her teammates
McGrath is seen isolating from her teammates as she waits to go out to bat in the final
The toss was delayed as officials discussed whether allrounder Tahlia McGrath would be allowed to play, having returned a positive COVID-19 test
She also could not celebrate with her teammates after taking a catch.
Many Indian supporters felt the decision was 'racist' and that India would have been ruled out of the final if the shoe was on the other foot.
Sports reporter Naveen Sharma slammed the move as 'shameless' in a Tweet: 'Australians always preach about right or wrong but they forget everything when it comes to them.'
'Tahlia McGrath tested Covid positive. Yet she was allowed to play. Basically, all rules go haywire when Australia and England play. Imperialist mentality at its very best,' posted one angry