The ECB chief executive Tom Harrison has downplayed the criticism the BCCI and Indian players are receiving following the cancellation of the Manchester Test. The boards decided to call the game off due to the covid-19 scare in the Indian camp.
The players had addressed their apprehension regarding the virus’ threat after assistant physio Yogesh Parmar went down with covid on Wednesday. While all the players returned negative tests on Thursday, it has been reported that they are worried about further cases and hence were reluctant to take the field.
Fans on social media have been pelting flak towards the Indian players for not choosing to play in the Test match, while being ready to fly to the UAE, where they will feature in the IPL in little more than a week later.
Tom Harrison revealed that the BCCI wanted to play the game but the nervy situation in the Indian contingent meant it had to be called off and this has nothing to do with the IPL.
“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. The BCCI, this India team and their captain want to make their mark in Test cricket. I don’t think the IPL should worry people who feel there is an agenda is at place here,” Tom Harrison said while speaking on the BBC’s Test Match Special broadcast.
“I was on the phone all night. Once those fears creep in they can be very hard to shift. There are no winners in this one.100% of the BCCI wanted to get this game on. There is a strong relationship between the ECB and BCCI. We will definitely come through this, probably even stronger than we went in.”
The outcome of this game is a decision for the ICC: Tom Harrison
The ECB CEO refused to announce the outcome of the match and the series, which India lead 2-1 at the moment, and has left it to the ICC as to where the situation stands in context with the WTC points.
“The outcome of this game is not one for today. Thoughts will turn to that soon. It is a decision for the ICC in the context of the World Test Championship. It’s not something that concerns us unduly. We expect the people in place to make those decisions will make them,” Tom Harrison added.
The BCCI, then, has “offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled Test match”. India are scheduled to tour England next year for white-ball matches. Perhaps then this game could be played.