Cricket news 2022: How will sport deal with Covid cases in Australia after Tahlia McGrath Commonwealth Games case?

The decision to allow Tahlia McGrath to compete in the Comm Games gold medal game is divided, but what if it happens in Australia this summer?

It remains unlikely that a McGrath-type situation could materialize on home soil as CA are obliged to follow advice from local authorities. However, there are moves to reduce the current mandatory isolation period from seven days to five days before the Twenty20 World Cup begins in October.

The green light given to McGrath was in line with local regulations in the UK, which allowed Commonwealth Games officials to treat positive cases in athletes on a case-by-case basis.

That flexibility doesn’t currently exist in Australia, but a spokesman for Cricket Australia confirmed the governing body’s position at that point would depend entirely on the latest advice from the authorities.

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If drastic changes were made to government rules – which is not out of the question as there are still months to go before midsummer – cricket is perfectly placed to adapt.

The last Big Bash season saw multiple instances where close contacts and international comers were allowed to play games, using separate dressing rooms and taking other precautions to isolate themselves from teammates during games.

It’s a sport that naturally lends itself to social distancing more than football rules.

Of course, what made McGrath’s case so bizarre for Australian audiences was the fact that she was actually Covid positive, but at least it showed cricket bosses what’s possible when government rules become more flexible.

It was somewhat sobering to see McGrath on the podium celebrating Australia’s gold medal with team-mates (despite wearing a mask), especially when last summer’s men’s captain Pat Cummins was ruled out of a test match for missing 30 seconds in a restaurant in the presence of a positive case.

But even reducing the isolation period from seven to five days – which governments will discuss implementing after September – would be a huge boost to the World Cup and the Big Bash given the chaos caused by positive cases in the BBL last summer .

As much as the Australian team would welcome more flexible government rules, it’s a fine line to walk because, from a performance perspective, it’s not ideal in international sport to have six or seven players take to the field with even minor symptoms.

CA will also not impose additional isolation requirements on players if a player is Covid positive, meaning Australian stars can resume eating and drinking in public and generally returning to normal.

Australia largely burst the bubble on their recent tour of Sri Lanka, with players again being able to interact with the media and visit local restaurants.

Originally posted as How will Covid affect the summer of cricket following Tahlia McGrath’s participation in the Comm Games?

https://www.codesports.com.au/cricket/how-will-covid-impact-the-summer-of-cricket-in-wake-of-tahlia-mcgraths-comm-games-participation/news-story/9bf77e526f0ba873c64177f6a9ee2467?nk=67d456a1cd4e1c1ae046ea338e1789d6-1659962715 Cricket news 2022: How will sport deal with Covid cases in Australia after Tahlia McGrath Commonwealth Games case?

Nate Jones

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