Sourav Ganguly, the President of India’s cricket board (BCCI), said his players refused to play the fifth and final Test against England because of COVID-19 concerns, and disputed that the approaching Indian Premier League had influenced their decision.
Last Friday, just two hours before the planned start of the Old Trafford Test, the tourists, who were leading the series 2-1, were refuses to play after their physiotherapist tested positive for COVID-19.
“The players refused to play but you can’t blame them,” Sourav Ganguly told Indian newspaper The 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.”
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Former England captain Michael Vaughan has claimed that India’s players were “terrified”. Because of testing positive ahead of the IPL’s return to the UAE on September 19.
However, ECB’s CEO Tom Harrison stated that the cancellation was unrelated to the IPL, and Ganguly agreed.
“The BCCI will never be an irresponsible board. We value other boards too”
He also states that the match will most likely to take place as a one-off match next year.
Hours before the toss at Old Trafford; ECB issues a statement stating that the fifth Test match has cancel as “India are regrettably unable to field a team.”
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