Stuart Broad has stated that he understands why the Indian cricketers showed discomfort in playing the final Test in Manchester. Notably, the series decider was cancelled on September 10, after a fourth member of Team India support staff tested positive for Covid-19 on the eve of the match.
India won the fourth Test at The Oval and claimed a 2-1 lead in the five-match Test series against England and the Virat Kohli-led side were series win by defeating England in the fifth Test Match in Manchester as well. Unfortunately, the match was cancelled less than three hours before the toss. The panic in the Indian camp after a fourth support staff tested positive for Covid-19 led to the vistors deciding against taking the field.
Once the match was called off, England fans and former crickters accused the Indian players and the BCCI of cancelling the match for the sake of second leg of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 which starts on September 19 in the UAE. Notably, the Manchester Test was scheduled from September 10 to 14 and another positive case in the Indian camp could have put the particiapation of India stars in the cash-rich league under risk.
However, Stuart Broad stated that he can understand the situation of Indian players regarding the Covid concerns. He further stated that he was tired of the team bio-bubble when England toured India earlier this year.
“I am certainly not going to preach that what they did was wrong because I remember how I felt for the last Test match in Ahmedabad (when England toured India), having been locked away for 10 weeks in hotel rooms. We’d not seen other human beings, been kept away from our families, had slow wi-fi and couldn’t even stream Netflix,” Broad wrote in his column for The Mail on Sunday.
“By the end of it we were worn down and the thought of then potentially catching the virus during those final few days of the tour — and having to spend another fortnight locked away — made me feel quite unstable,” added Broad.
Former England skipper Michael Vaughan was one among those who criticised and blamed Indian players for not taking the field in Manchester. He also pointed fingers at IPL and stated that the Indian players value IPL more than international matches. However, Broad asserted that the Indian players were anxious after their staff tested Covid positive, and he would have felt the same if it happened in the England camp.
“I know Michael Vaughan was quite vociferous, saying India’s decision was all about the IPL riches –and I am not saying it didn’t play its part — but I can understand them panicking so close to their flights out.”