Former England captain Nasser Hussain said that he had a lot of sympathy with the Indian players while saying the cancellation of the fifth Test of the ongoing India-England series had a lot to do with the upcoming second half of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021), to be played from September 19.
Just hours before the toss of the fifth Test on September 10, 2021, Friday, the Test match to be played at Manchester was canceled, as ECB and BCCI discussed a lot after reports of several Indian players being apprehensive about playing this Test match emerged.
India team’s second physio Yogesh Parmar had tested COVI positive on Wednesday and the entire Indian team was asked to isolate in their hotel rooms as Parmar had been in close contact with them. They underwent RT-PCR tests on Thursday morning and though the reports came back negative for all, the players were still not sure about playing the Test match.
BCCI Wanted Everything Moved To Make Sure The IPL Is A Huge Financial Issue Hanging Over The 5th Test: Nasser Hussain
Hussain felt that the BCCI was concerned about the heavy financial losses they would incur if the IPL had to be postponed further in the case of players contracting Covid-19 during the Manchester Test.
This is because, despite the negative test results, COVID symptoms can occur 2-3 days after close contact as well if it had happened during the fifth Test, then it would have been catastrophic for the visitors as the entire team would have to isolate for 10 days. This would have led to the IPL 2021, which begins in UAE from September 19, might have to be postponed once again and it would have a cascading effect as well.
“Initially, the BCCI was always very concerned about this Test match. They wanted everything moved to make sure the IPL is a huge financial issue hanging over the game, over Indian cricket. They have already moved it, then moved it half of it this time around. Of course, this is about the IPL, but this is about players who are thinking: If get down positive here now, today, I have to do another 10 days,” Hussain told Sky Sports.
Nasser Hussain then sympathized with the Indian players’ situation, highlighting their point of view.
In this regard, he said: “I have a lot of sympathy with the Indian players as they’ve had two physios, who tested positive for Covid-19. The second one would have been treating all the players with some sore bodies ahead of a fifth Test match. You cannot do physiotherapy without close contact. Even those players have tested negative a couple of times now, the incubation period means they are worried that two or three days into the Test match they test positive and three or four players go down.”
The series stands 2-1 in favor of India and ICC will take a final call on the outcome of the series after the fifth Test match was canceled, as to whether India gets the points for winning the series or whatever is the way forward.