Former England captain Kevin Pietersen has advised the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) against pointing fingers at the Indian cricket team after the fifth and final Test match between England and India was cancelled on Friday. The decision was taken after India were reportedly unable to field a team at Old Trafford due to COVID-19 fears in the camp. Pietersen stressed the fact that England had also called off a series against South Africa due to similar reasons and hence they shouldn't go about pointing fingers at others.
While India's junior physio Yogesh Parmar had tested positive for COVID-19 prior to the final Test match at Manchester, all the cricketers had returned negative results for the infection. The fifth Test match was set to be on course as per the final update on the eve of the match on Thursday. However, there were all sorts of confusion on match day before the England and Wales Cricket Board sent out an official confirmation.
"Following ongoing conversations with the BCCI, the ECB can confirm that the fifth LV= Insurance Test between England and India Men due to start today at Emirates Old Trafford, will be cancelled," ECB mentioned in the statement.
Soon after the cancellation was made official, KP took to Twitter to make this remark. "England left the tour of SA for Covid scares & cost CSA plenty, so don’t go pointing fingers," he tweeted.
Check out his tweet here:
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan has, meanwhile, said that India have let English cricket down. However, he too was quick to point out that England too were guilty of letting South Africa cricket down.
Notably, England had cancelled their tour of South Africa after reported breaches of the team's bio-secure environment in Cape Town. The news came as a huge financial blow to the already COVID-hit Cricket South Africa. It even cast doubt over their ability to host future tours with Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Australia set to visit there. However, they somehow found a way around it but not without their share of struggle.
The Manchester Test cancellation will also have some financial implications but BCCI Vice President Rajeev Shukla has confirmed that there are negotiations underway to reschedule this Test match at a later date, although nothing has been confirmed yet.