Former England captain David Gower has stated that it was Virat Kohli who e-mailed to the BCCI on Thursday midnight about the players unwilling to take the field on Friday morning for the fifth Test in Manchester in fear of the covid-19 outbreak in the camp, which eventually led to the match being cancelled.
Yogesh Parmar, the Indian team’s physio, tested positive on Wednesday and since then the players had been in apprehension, more so because Parma had been in their direct contact.
David Gower also said there needs to be more clarification and revelations by the two parties which will give a more transparent picture about the situation.
“Wow! No one, least of all I, saw that coming. It leads us into unprecedented territories. 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 e-mailed the BCCI at midnight the day before – the whole sequence of events needs explaining a little bit better,” David Gower told Cricket.com.
The IPL and cancellation were linked: David Gower
Soon after the cancellation of the match, the Indian players had departed for the UAE where they will play the second half of the IPL 2021. Because of this, the 64-year-old believes that there could be a link between the Indian players cancelling the fifth Test and the cash-rich league.
David Gower said that while Kohli has always been big on endorsing Test cricket, the cancellation of the Manchester Test – if because of the IPL – is “tragic”.
“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… So, for all of us who like Test cricket and value it as the best part of the game, to see a Test abandoned like this was tragic.
“Over the next days and week, more things would emerge. One or two things we haven’t heard so far might come out to the public ears. But it does seem by the way that the Indian players have high-tailed out of town so quickly, already in the UAE preparing for the IPL. Maybe you can argue that it is sensible given the circumstances.
“It gives them the best chance to be part of it. But maybe that suggests that the IPL and cancellation were linked. There were some private things said between the Indian team and Indian board,” the former England batsman added.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that the BCCI has offered to play two more T20I matches on their tour to England next year, or the rescheduled Test, but that is unlikely to be part of this series, which Kohli’s side lead 2-1 for now.