Farokh Engineer has come out in support of Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri after the fifth test match between India and England was cancelled on Friday. He said that it is unfair to blame the Kohli-Shastri duo for going to a book launch, adding that the duo was inside the hotel and not outside.
With the threat of the Covid-19 outbreak already looming on the series after three positive cases in the Indian camp during the fourth Test, the fifth Test match between India and England was cancelled on Friday, September 10. Head coach Ravi Shastri, fielding coach R Sridhar and bowling coach Bharat Arun returned positive RT-PCR tests first and later on the eve of the fifth and final Test in Manchester, assistant physio Yogesh Parmar was added to the list. Eventually, the series-deciding match was called off a few hours before its start.
Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli are receiving a lot of flak from cricket fans for attending the public book launch event of the former. Shastri, Kohli and his teammates are said to have attended the event in the company of hundreds of unmasked attendees.
Former Indian Wicketkeeper-batsman Farokh Engineer has defended their actions saying it’s unfair to blame them for going to a book launch.
“People are blaming Ravi Shastri for it. He has done wonders for Indian cricket. You can’t blame them for going to a book launch. They did not go outside the hotel; they were inside. It’s very easy to blame somebody, to pinpoint somebody," said Engineer to Sports Tak.
“People keep coming to us for a selfie, and all the time you can’t say no. Ravi and Virat must have done the same thing, or shaked hands with people. But how would they know if someone is Covid positive? So you can’t really blame Ravi and Virat although I believe a lot of blame is being laid on him," he added.
India were leading the series 2-1 and a decision over the final result is yet to be announced. BCCI has proposed to ECB to reschedule the match for sometime in the future but an official declaration from the two boards and the ICC is awaited.
For now, IPL-bound India and England players have reached the UAE for the second leg actions of the cash-rich league.