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Ashes cricket 2021: Channel 7 presenter Mel McLaughlin caught Covid-19 during Boxing Day Test at the MCG


The mystery cricket commentator who tested positive to Covid-19 during the Boxing Day Test at the MCG has been unveiled.

Channel 7 presenter Mel McLaughlin has revealed she was the media personality who tested positive to Covid-19 during the Boxing Day Test between Australia and England at the MCG.

The free-to-air broadcaster was forced to make several changes to its commentary team for the third Ashes Test in Melbourne after a member of its broadcast staff tested positive to Covid-19 on Sunday evening.

A number of high-profile commentators were required to take Covid-19 tests and isolate until they received a negative result on Monday morning.

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Subsequently, Channel 7’s roster of callers was completely different from the previous day – the Big Bash League crew replaced the likes of Ian Botham, Ricky Ponting, James Brayshaw, Alison Mitchell, Tim Lane, Greg Blewett, Matthew Hayden, Simon Katich, Trent Copeland, Glenn McGrath, Damien Fleming and Peter Lalor.

“The staff member was asymptomatic at time of testing and has been in self isolation since the moment the positive test was returned,” Seven Network Head of Sport Lewis Martin said in a statement.

“Seven is activating its Covid measures to ensure the health and safety of all staff, as well as the broader community, and is working in line with all relevant guidelines and regulations. We are working closely with the MCG operational team and Cricket Australia.

“Seven‘s number one priority is the health, safety and welfare of all staff and the community.”

As first reported by the Daily Telegraph, McLaughlin has confirmed she was the mystery member of the commentary team who tested positive following a week of rumours.

“I was diagnosed on the 26th,” she said on Friday, News Corp reports.

“I am double-vaxxed, I’d had the booster shot, I was producing negative daily rapid tests and then on Boxing Day night my PCR test was positive and my dream gig of hosting the Boxing Day Test was over.”

McLaughlin said she was sick for a couple of days after the positive result, including a “runny nose” and “chills”.

The 42-year-old has worked at Channel 7 since 2016, hosting the broadcaster’s coverage of the 2016 Rio Olympics, 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.

She has also hosted Seven’s cricket coverage since the free-to-air channel acquired the broadcast rights in 2018.

Meanwhile, on Friday morning, Cricket Australia revealed that batter Travis Head would be unavailable for next week’s Ashes Test in Sydney after returning a positive result to a routine PCR test.

The South Australian will remain in Melbourne with his partner for seven days, while the remainder of the Australian squad travels to Sydney ahead of the New Year’s Test.

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“Thankfully, he (Head) is asymptomatic at this stage,” a CA spokesperson said. “We anticipate that he will be available to play in the fifth Vodafone men’s Ashes Test in Hobart.

“We are grateful to our exceptional medical staff for all the work they have done throughout this series and we will continue to work with and support the players, their families and staff from both teams.”

All-rounder Mitchell Marsh, Victorian batter Nic Maddison and West Australian gloveman Josh Inglis have joined the Test squad as a precautionary measure.

The fourth Ashes Test between Australia and England gets underway on Wednesday, with the first ball scheduled for 10.30am AEDT.

Originally published as Channel 7 presenter Mel McLaughlin caught Covid-19 during Boxing Day Test at the MCG



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