- The cricket enthusiasts closely following the India-England Test series cannot be faulted for feeling cheated by the turn of events resulting in the cancellation of the fifth Test match. The series was a cracker right from the first ball bowled and was tantalizingly positioned going into the last match. Then all of a sudden, all hell broke loose when one coaching staff after another from the Indian cricket contingent returned positive for the dreaded novel coronavirus throwing every minute precautions that went into the series awry. The series that stood at 2-1 in favor of Team India leading into the final Test had to be canceled just two hours before the start on the back of Covid infection concerns. The news emerging suggests Indian players were scared to take the field.
PC: Manoj Kumar
- The moot point to ponder over here is why the situation had to pan out the way it eventually happened when all safety and health protocols were in place even before such a high-profile Test series commenced. The stringently guarded secure biobubble environment created could be breached by the infectious virus after all amply demonstrates sheer laxity on the part of the Indian coaching staff. When so much was at stake, especially the imperativeness of Test cricket continuing to remain relevant amid the surfeit of T20 leagues taking precedence and widespread acceptance, every effort to ensure the five-day match does not get impeded by callousness should have been non-negotiable. Alas! The eventual Test cancellation was a big jolt to such an endeavor for sure.
- Merely lamenting about a lack of interest in the five-day format by patrons of the game would amount to hollow claims when safety and health protocols are blatantly found violated by the officials themselves. Sends a poor message across to cricket aficionados when the riveting Test series was so beautifully poised. If reports emerging are to be believed it all started with the Indian Team’s Head Coach launching his at an event that saw cricketers in full attendance along with a sizeable crowd to boot. What is alarming to note is a former Indian cricketer mentioning that none of the players and coaching staff present during the event were wearing a personal mask for protection. Even though England has removed restrictions, a protective mask should have helped indeed.
PC: ESPNcricinfo staff
- It is learned from news reports that the book launching event was neither sanctioned by the Board of Control for Cricket in India nor communicated to the England and Wales Cricket Board. If so, it raises serious questions about the role of the Indian Head Coach who rather than set a worthy example by being sensitive to the pandemic situation miserably failed to do so ending up jeopardizing the Test match itself. A mere rap on the knuckle or censuring would not suffice as the losses accruing out of the cancellation of the Test, not just financial, but also otherwise is huge and beyond statistics. Thus, the BCCI should suspend the rule-breakers to set a precedent that acts as a deterrent for any future irresponsible conduct from its coaching staff and players.