India’s tour to England has been done for now with the fifth and final Test cancelled after COVID-19 fears in the Indian camp. Discussions among both the boards (ECB and BCCI) are going on over the status of the series and whether to reschedule the cancelled Test or not. Amidst all this, India’s head coach Ravi Shastri has opened up and debunked the theories of his book launch event being the reason for the cancellation of the fifth Test at Manchester.
The whole country is open: Shastri
After Ravi Shastri tested positive for the virus during the 4th Test match, a few other members of the Indian support staff too returned positive tests later, with Yogesh Parmar- the assistant physio- being the latest case. The match could have been played, had Parmar not tested positive for the virus on the eve of the Manchester Test. But after the match got cancelled, fingers are being pointed out towards the book launch event of Shastri, which reportedly flouted the COVID-19 guidelines.
The Indian coach has now come out in defence of his event. In an interview to Mid-Day, Shastri stated: “The whole country (United Kingdom) is open. Anything could have happened from Test One.” It is worth noting that the Test series was played in a softer bubble where players had bit relaxations in comparison to the strict bio-bubble. It is also learnt that the Indian head coach neither had the clearance from the England and Wales Cricket Board nor from the BCCI to host the event.
Shastri hails the teams for the ‘best’ English summer
Ravi Shastri also hailed the teams for putting up a great performance in the series. “It’s been the best summer of cricket England has seen in a long time certainly from an Indian cricket team. It’s COVID times, awesome summer though. The boys were fantastic either side of the Thames,” said Shastri, who was part of the Indian team winning the 1986 England Test series by 2-0.
Shastri went on to praise the Indian team for putting a dominant show in England and Australia earlier. “No team played in Covid times like this Indian team did in Australia and England. Just ask the experts here. Nothing has given me more job satisfaction in the game and I have been around for a bit as you would know,” Shastri added.