After the Manchester Test got cancelled on Friday, Inzamam-ul-Haq has backed the Indian team by stating that it is difficult to play without the support staff. On the eve of the 5th Test, Team India had also cancelled the practice session after team's assistant physio tested positive for Covid-19.
India won the fourth Test match at The Oval by 157 runs to go up 2-1 in the five-match Test series and the final match was scheduled to begin on Friday, September 10, but the Covid-19 concerns in the Indian contingent forced ECB to cancel the series decider in Manchester. As per reports, few Indian players approached the board expressing their concerns about going into the fifth Test, which had forced BCCI and ECB to have a serious discussion on the issue. The gesture of the Indian players opened doors for debate all around the world.
However, former Pakistan skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq has backed the Indian team as he went on to state that it is difficult to play without the support staff. He further added that even the fitness of the support staff matters when it comes to a match.
“It is very difficult to play without the support staff. When you are injured or are facing a niggle, you need a trainer or physio to help you recover and make you match-fit. People must be wondering why India pulled out despite all their players being fit. The physios and trainers are very important. After a day’s play in a Test match ends, the physio’s job begins. He needs to treat the players and keep them in shape for the upcoming day’s play. So it would be wrong to say that India pulled out despite their players having tested negative."
The former Pakistan skipper lauded Team India’s performance in the fourth Test. He reckoned that India showed great determination on the field even in the absence of their coach and support staff.
“It is unfortunate that the fifth Test between India and England couldn’t go ahead due to Covid. It was a great series but to be fair to India, they were playing the fourth Test as well without their coach and support staff. But they showed great determination on the field.
Yogesh Parmar took charge as lead physio after Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun and R Sridhar's close contact Nitin Patel was sent into isolation during the Oval Test. The Covid test result of Parmar returned positive on Thursday and the Indian players went back to the hotel rooms refraining from the final practice session. Later, the players expressed their concerns to the official authorities regarding the Covid scare in the Indian camp. Inzamam stated that the Indian players did nothing wrong in expressing their concern as the physio was part of their training session after the Oval Test.
"Now, even their physio who was training them in recent days has tested positive. The players were rightly apprehensive since the physio was sharing the dressing room with them and training them. Also, the players may have tested negative but often Covid symptoms start showing after 2-3 days,: he concluded.