Dinesh Karthik, who was on commentary duties for Sky Sports during the English summer, stated that India’s assistant physio Yogesh Parmar testing covid-19 positive on the eve of the fifth Test at Old Trafford, Manchester, caused jitters in the camp. The game was called off hours before the toss.
The fifth Test between India and England at Old Trafford, Manchester, was called off on Friday, September 9, after growing concerns in the tourists’ camp following the covid-19 outbreak.
Yogesh Parmar, the team’s assistant physio was tested positive on Thursday, which had put the game in uncertainty. That was not long after head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar had returned covid-19 positive during the Oval Test and had missed the trip to Manchester.
Dinesh Karthik felt that Parmar’s result, which came on the eve of the game, caused jitters in the Indian camp.
“I spoke to a few of the guys. More often than not, a lot of the players after the fourth Test... this is tiring. Almost all games have gone down the wire, they are tired and they have only one physio right now,” Karthik told Sky Sports.
“They had two, but before this one went down along with the chief coach, another couple of the coaches, so they had one physio, so they’ve done a lot of work with that man. And now he tests positive. Now, that is the problem.
“If it was somebody else, somebody was helping you know in terms of logistics and all that they wouldn’t be this afraid but when this person got it, the physio, I think that’s when they got the jitters a little bit.”
Karthik further emphasised how there must’ve been a certain sense of anxiety within the camp, given the uncertainty that was already looming over the Manchester fixture.
“Let’s take an example for today, most of the guys today haven’t even slept till 2.30-3 in the morning because they don’t know if they have to be ready for the match, they don’t know because you know it’s very late in India, so they don’t know if they’re going to be able to speak to ECB those kinds of discussions were gone,” he said.
“So most of them haven’t even slept till 3 O’clock so the Test match happening today was out of the question almost. It’s whether they can delay it further, but you have to remember that there is a good chance that in the RT-PCR test three days later, someone could test positive and if he’s in the playing 11, then what happens to that person.”
With little time to go for the second leg of the IPL, which is scheduled to commence on September 19, there are rising concerns among the players if the virus would enter the IPL bubble.
“Is he going to spread it around? Is he this super spreader for that point of time, that puts every other player in jeopardy, and then they have to stay 10 days in England then what happens to the IPL, which is supposed to start four days after they land in Dubai,” Karthik said.
“...So it has so many other questions, it’s not necessary that they’ve tested negative today means that two days later they will test negative again. Even if it is one person who does test positive, then that puts the whole thing into another different dimension.”
Karthik also informed that the players have been told to remain in their rooms for the time being.
"Yes, they are all in the rooms,” he said. “They have not moved out since the time they heard about the physio. They've all been told to stay in the rooms and not move out. And that's exactly what they're doing."