The fantastic test series comes to an abrupt end after the 5th test was cancelled due to COVID related concerns. This was started when Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli attended a book launch event, where several people outside out the bio-bubble were also present. Then, after few days, Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun, and R Sridhar were tested positive on the first day of the 4th Test. The match was played without any disturbance and was a thriller with Indian winning by 157 runs. But, just a day before the 5th Test match, assistant physio Yogesh Parmar, who was very close to the Indian players tested positive.
The Indian team is said to have not slept until 3 am in the last night due to the unclear situation of being match played or not. Yesterday, the situation turned grim after the senior player refused to be a part of the test match and feared that what will happen if one of the Playing 11 member gets tested positive during the test match. Additionally with IPL in 9 days, none of the players had to risk themselves.
According to the reports, these were the messages received by the players on WhatsApp today just a hours before the test match.
“The match has been called off. It’s impt that each one of you stay in your room,” Team’s group message as quoted by ESPNcricinfo.
“We are unable to arrange breakfast in your room so if you want you can go to the restaurant to have your meal,” the second messaged popped up within 10 minutes.
The ECB Chief executive Tom Harrison spoke at length after the 5th test between India and England was postponed indefinitely. He gave the rights to ICC to decide the winner of the series, and said that there will be a one-off test which will be conducted next year. Rightfully, the series comes under World Test Championship and it will the decision by the ICC which will be valid here.
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“Playing at this level, week after week, is difficult. Even if we feel we are emerging from the pandemic, life is different for the players. When Covid creeps into an environment, it can accelerate very quickly. Hopefully we can get this Test on some other time, but it won’t be the same as it having the conclusion after four brilliant matches.”
That’s not one for today. Today is all about making sure we have fronted this in terms of what has happened, why it has happened, what the situation is with respect to the immediate turn. Thoughts will turn to that soon. That is not a decision for us, it’s a decision for ICC to think about in the context of the World Test Championship.
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