Cricket: Australian Matthew Renshaw cleared to play third test, despite positive COVID-19 test

Less than an hour after he was named for a test return, Australian batter Matt Renshaw has tested positive for COVID-19, but will continue to play the third test against South Africa.

Renshaw, 26, was named to bat at No.6 for Australia in the third test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, but reported feeling unwell to team management on the first morning.

He subsequently returned a positive rapid antigen test, but will continue to take part in the test.

Renshaw isn't the first Australian player continuing to play after returning a positive COVID test.

Last August, all-rounder Tahlia McGrath was cleared to play the Birmingham Commonwealth Games final, despite a failed test.

McGrath wore a mask while playing and during Australia's gold-medal celebrations.

In October, wicketkeeper Matthew Wade was cleared to play Australia's group match against England in the Twenty20 World Cup, with no other specialist wicketkeeper available.

In that instance, Australia were spared, as rain wiped out any chance of play before a ball could be bowled.

ICC protocols allowed Wade to play, provided he used a separate changing room to his teammates and wore a mask while playing.

Both of those cases came in a Twenty20 international match, played for about three hours.

In Renshaw's case, testing positive on day one of a test would see him potentially playing for five days, and possibly exposing teammates and opposition to infection. Peter Handscomb has been listed as a COVID substitute for Australia. 

Australia holds an unassailable 2-0 lead in the best-of-three series, but victory would guarantee a spot in this year's World Test Championship final.