ENG vs IND: India’s cricket board chief Sourav Ganguly said that players refused to play the fifth Test against England due to COVID-19 concerns and denied that the upcoming Indian Premier League had played any part in the decision.
The Old Trafford Test was cancelled last Friday barely two hours before its scheduled start as the tourists, who were leading the series 2-1, failed to field a side after their physiotherapist tested positive for COVID-19.
“The players refused to play but you can’t blame them,” Ganguly told the Indian newspaper Telegraph on Monday.
“Physio Yogesh Parmar was such a close contact of the players. he mixed freely with the players and even performed their COVID-19 tests.
He also used to give them a massage, he was part of their everyday lives. The players were devastated when they came to know that he had tested positive for COVID-19. They feared they must have contracted the disease and were dead scared.”
Former England captain Michael Vaughan has suggested that India’s players were petrified of testing positive ahead of the IPL, which resumes on September 19 in the UAE.
But England and Wales Cricket Board CEO Tom Harrison has said the cancellation had nothing to do with the IPL and Ganguly approved those comments.
“The BCCI will never be an irresponsible board. We value other boards too, ” he said, adding that the match is likely to be held as a one-off match next year.
Twitter divided in two halves from India’s retraction. ENG vs IND.
Kevin Pietersen supported the Indian team with his tweet “
England left the tour of SA for Covid scares & cost CSA plenty, so don’t go pointing fingers!”
He changed the side quickly and twisted “So England v India TEST is CANCELLED due to Covid!!!! WOW!!!! Wow!!! Wow!!! Does it mean with 9 days till CSK v MI in Dubai, NO player from each team that’s in the UK will be available if they now have 10 days of quarantining in the UK”?
While on the other side Michael Vaughan sings completely in a different direction blaming IPL for the cancellation of the fifth Test. His tweet reads1, “India have let English Cricket down !!! But England did let South African Cricket down !!!” and further with another tweet “The total lack of respect shown to the Cricketing fan that had travelled hundreds of miles today to see the Test today is an utter disgrace .. Surely this could have been dealt with yesterday !!!! Even then I wouldn’t have agreed with it …”
But the most direct statement came from his tweet that reads, “IPL teams chartering planes .. 6 days quarantining required in the UAE .. 7 days till the tournament starts !!!! Don’t tell me the Test was cancelled for any other reason but the IPL ..”
Aakash Chopra has replied to the latest tweet of Vaughan that says, “England called off their tour to SA in similar circumstances i.e. Uneasiness over a COVID outbreak. #JustSaying“.
Tow which Michael Vaughan replied “And I didn’t agree with that then as I don’t agree with what India have done now …”