Former England captain David Gower has said the events that led to the cancellation of the Manchester Test need better explanation, while claiming that skipper Virat Kohli sent letters to the Indian board at midnight, a day before the match, Gower made the claim in an interview with Cricket.com. The fifth Test was cancelled following a Covid outbreak in the Indian contingent. “Wow! No one, least of all I, saw that coming. It leads us into unprecedented territories,” Gower told the portal.
“I mean I know other matches have been abandoned… sometimes a few balls bowled and various other circumstances but to have the thing called off at the last moment – Virat Kohli sending letters to the BCCI at midnight, the day before – the whole sequence of events needs explaining a little bit better,” he added.
After the match at Old Trafford was called off, many speculated that the resumption of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 had played a part in it.
Gower said that if the IPL is linked to the cancellation, then it is very disappointing for the fans.
“The worrying thing for me is this: If the IPL was so very closely linked to this, then that to me is very disappointing because… I mean sound old, crusty, but for all those people like me and dare I say, Virat… the last time he was in England, he made a big point about how important Test match cricket is to him,” Gower said.
Virat Kohli, in his first comment on cancelled Test, told the RCB website after arriving in Dubai: “Unfortunate how we ended up being here early but with Covid in place, things are very uncertain, so anything can happen at any time. Hopefully, we are able to maintain a good strong, secure environment here and have a quality IPL and then onto the World Cup. So now, heading into the T20 phase, I think it is going to be an exciting phase and a very important one for us at RCB and for the Indian team at the World Cup as well.”
Meanwhile rubbishing claims that IPL played a part in the cancellation of the 5th Test, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Monday had said that players were afraid to take the field after second physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive.
“No, no, the BCCI will never be an irresponsible board. We value other boards too,” Ganguly said when asked whether IPL played a role in the calling off of the fifth Test.
“The players refused to play but you can’t blame them. Physio Yogesh Parmar was such a close contact of the players. Being the only one available after Nitin Patel isolated himself, he mixed freely with the players and even performed their COVID-19 tests,” Ganguly added.
Following the cancellation, the BCCI had offered England board to reschedule the cancelled Test at a later date.
“In lieu of the strong relationship between BCCI and ECB, the BCCI has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled Test match. Both the Boards will work towards finding a window to reschedule this Test match,” the BCCI said in a statement.