'Irresponsible to attend book launch event outside bubble' - English media criticize Indian coach, players after final Test cancellation

‘Irresponsible to attend book launch event outside bubble’ – English media criticize Indian coach, players after final Test cancellation

ECB and BCCI mutually agreed to call off the fifth Test in Manchester due to the COVID-19 threat.

Indian head coach Ravi Shastri. (Photo by Satyabrata Tripathy/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The fifth Test between England and India scheduled to begin from Friday (10 September) in Manchester has been postponed by a day due to a support staff member from India contacting the COVID-19 virus. This is the fourth case from the visitors’ camp after Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun, and R Sridhar tested positive. While the trio were told by the medical staff to not travel with the team to Manchester, how a case emerged just before the start of the fifth Test has got the Board of Control of Cricket in India (BCCI) officials worried.

Meanwhile, the England Cricket Board (ECB) are not happy with this recent turn of events as head coach Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli attended a book launch event during the Test series, which the BCCI speculate that Shastri and the support staff could have contracted the virus from.

“Thankfully the nightmare scenario was avoided on Thursday night when it emerged all the players’ PCR tests had come back negative. But it is a narrow escape for the game and clearly, India coaches and players were irresponsible to attend a book launch at a London hotel outside their bubble, as revealed by Sportsmail, two days before the fourth Test at the Oval,” the Daily Mail reported.

Interestingly, BCCI secretary Jay Shah had told the players and support staff members to not attend any public gathering event due to the COVID-19 threat. Now with ECB blaming Ravi Shastri and Kohli, the BCCI officials are not happy over the issue.

The fifth Test between England called off due to COVID-19 threat

Earlier it was announced that the first day of the fifth Test between England and India has been postponed by a day but now the latest reports have emerged that the match is cancelled due to the COVID-19 threat. The visitors are finding it difficult to field a team, and that is the primary reason the match is called off by ECB and BCCI boards. India lead the series 2-1 and will stand as winners of the Pataudi Trophy 2021.