BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has revealed that the players were very scared when they came to know that the team's assistant physio has tested positive for Covid-19, adding that they were reluctant to play the 5th Test. He also clarified that the IPL 2021 has not played any part in the decision.
The BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly has confirmed that the Indian players had refused to play the fifth and final Test of the series against England due to Covid-19 concerns. Further, the former India captain has quashed all the speculations around the IPL 2021 and its possible role in cancellation of the series-deciding Test.
Notably, with India leading the 5-Test series 2-1, the Manchester Test was cancelled two hours before its scheduled start. Head coach Ravi Shastri, fielding coach R Sridhar and bowling coach Bharat Arun had tested positive during the fourth Test at The Oval, while assistant physio Yogesh Parmar returned positive on the eve of the fifth Test.
Explaining the situation Ganguly said players were scared when they came to know that the team's assistant physio has tested positive. Players including Rohit Sharma and Cheteshwar Pujara, who felt pain during the fourth Test, were working closely with Parmar to recover on time for the all-important clash.
“The players refused to play but you can’t blame them. 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,” Ganguly said to the Telegraph.
“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,” he further added.
The England and Wales Cricket Board CEO Tom Harrison has also echoed the same comments. Also, he has hinted that the match is likely to be held as a one-off match which will be played next year.