Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman has defended Team India’s decision to back out of the final Test in Manchester due to the covid-19 outbreak in the team. Several coaching staff members including head coach, Ravi Shastri, returned positive results in their RT-PCR tests.
Laxman opined that the team couldn’t have played the match after being in close contact with covid positive members. He deemed the way it ended was disappointing but the safety of the players should always be the top concern for any board around the world.
“It was an abrupt, somewhat disappointing end to what had been a cracking series but given the circumstances in which the final Test at Old Trafford was cancelled, it’s unfair to point fingers or play the blame game. More than a year and a half since the pandemic, the world is still far from a safe place.”
“It might be tempting for many to see the Indian team as the villain of the piece, but I can say from our IPL experiences this summer that once any member of the team that you have been in close contact with tests positive, it is impossible not to be apprehensive, indeed fearful,” Laxman wrote in his column for TOI.
“I hope the ICC sees the situation and awards the series 2-1 to India” – VVS Laxman
The ECB is reportedly set to lose around 40 million euros following the cancellation of the Manchester Test. To compensate for the losses, BCCI offered to play a Test match and two T20Is in addition to the white-ball series next summer. This should be taken into consideration when ICC decides the outcome of the final Test, as per Laxman.
“I hope the ICC sees the situation for what it is and awards the series 2-1 to India, particularly with the BCCI having offered to play a Test during their white-ball tour of England next year.”
“To take the field in that mental state is far from ideal. So is the potential risk of endangering others on the park, be it your teammates, the officials, or the opponents. Against that backdrop, I think the cancellation of the Test was the right call, though I feel deeply for the fans who had invested so much time, money, and emotion in the contest,” Laxman added.
ECB formally requested the ICC to engage its Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) and help decide the outcome of the final Test. If the ICC deems it as a forfeiture on India’s part, the series will end 2-2. Else, the match will be voided and the series will be awarded to India.