Manchester Test should be canceled, not postponed: Sourav Ganguly
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly believes the Manchester Test between England and India should be "canceled" instead of being postponed. Ganguly feels that whenever a one-off Test match between the two sides is held, "it cannot be a continuation of the series." The fifth Test at Old Trafford was canceled after India's assistant physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar tested COVID-19 positive on Thursday. Here are more details.
Here is what Ganguly said
"The Old Trafford Test has been canceled. They (ECB) have incurred a lot of losses and it's not going to be easy on [them]," Ganguly told Telegraph. "Let things settle down a bit, then we can discuss and decide. Whenever it's held next year, it should be a one-off match since it cannot be a continuation of the series any more (sic)," he added.
Fifth Test was postponed indefinitely over COVID-19 fears
The final England-India Test was postponed indefinitely as Indian players had expressed health concerns after assistant physiotherapist Parmar tested COVID-19 positive. It was stated that more than one Indian player had expressed concern about taking the field. They had even written a letter to the BCCI discussing the health issues due to a COVID-19 case in the Indian camp.
You can't blame the players: Ganguly
Supporting the players, Ganguly said, "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. He also used to give them a massage, he was part of their everyday lives."
India's training session was canceled on eve of Manchester Test
The training session of Team India on the eve of the Manchester had to be canceled after Parmar tested positive. According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, the Indian squad members were asked to stay back in their hotel rooms until further notice on the situation. Meanwhile, Ganguly revealed that he was unsure whether the match will happen or not.
Ravi Shastri had tested positive for COVID-19
The whole drama started while England and India were engaged in the fourth Test. Head coach Ravi Shastri tested positive for COVID-19 during the match. Three other members of the support staff, Bharat Arun, R Sridhar, and Patel, were also placed under quarantine. Shastri is believed to have contracted the virus after attending the event of his book launch in the team hotel.
Ganguly defends Indian coach and players
Ganguly, however, defended the Indian coach and players, stating, "How long can you stay confined to your hotel rooms? Can you stay locked at your home day in and day out?" "You can't be restricted to a life where you go from the hotel to the ground and return to the hotel. This is humanly not possible," he added.
What is the current situation?
The BCCI and ECB are yet to decide the fate of the Manchester Test. If the game gets called off, it will be treated as abandoned and India will win the series 2-1. In this case, the ECB will receive no insurance payout as this eventuality isn't covered. One possible solution is to reschedule the Test with India's white-ball leg in England in 2022.