Australian officials issued a statement explaining that although McGrath tested positive and had mild symptoms, she was cleared to play after consultation with team and match officials along with the Commonwealth Games Federation’s Clinical Results Analysis Panel.
“McGrath presented to team management with mild symptoms on Sunday and subsequently tested positive,” Commonwealth Games Australia (CGA) said. “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 CGF (Commonwealth Games Federation) and the ICC, Cricket Australia’s medical staff have implemented a series of comprehensive protocols that will be followed throughout the game and for post-match activity to minimize the risk of transmission to all players and referees. .
“The CGA has maintained a comprehensive COVID-19 risk mitigation strategy for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, with testing protocols beyond those required by the Birmingham 2022 Organizing Committee.”
CGA did not describe what protocols were in place and would not comment further.
“I think she handled it extremely well from Australia’s point of view,” said Australia’s Beth Mooney, her gold medal hanging around her neck. “Having the protocols in place and making sure everyone on the team was comfortable when he was playing, they did all the right things.
“Obviously towards the toss it got a bit hairy there for a while, but I think it’s no different if someone’s playing and they’ve got a cold or the flu.
“From my perspective it was the right decision and we just went out and played it.
“It was not something under our control, the people who are paid to make these decisions made them.”
McGrath did not line up with her teammates during the national anthems. However, he came out to bat without wearing a face mask.
He was Australia’s top run-scorer in Birmingham coming into the final, but against India he faced just four balls before being dismissed for two.
When McGrath left the field, she did not return to the dugout. She sat apart from her teammates.
“It was unusual but we have our doctor on tour and we were just listening to what he was saying,” Australian all-rounder Ashleigh Gardner said. “She said it was safe for her to play, obviously we didn’t mess with her, so we all felt like we were pretty safe out there.
“It was just one of those things that had to happen to someone in this competition and unfortunately it was her.”