Former Indian batsman Sunil Gavaskar has come out in support of the Indian team after reports claimed that Virat Kohli and co. refused to play the 5th Test against England in Manchester. He said this type of news is being generated only in the English newspapers and doesn’t have any credibility to it.
Just a couple of hours prior to the start of the fifth and final Test, ECB announced that the match had been canceled. The reason was that the visitors couldn’t field a playing XI after an outbreak of covid-19 cases in their camp. Several media houses asserted that Ravi Shastri’s book launch set the ongoing things in motion and caused the fifth Test to be called off.
“How does anyone know that it happened during the book launch? Because even after the book launch, when players were tested, they were negative. From what I’ve heard, the tests that took place on the eve of the match were all negative. So if none of our players were positive, what was the problem?”
“And reports that suggest the Indian players refused to play the match, I want to know who it was? These reports are only in English papers. They will never say or write anything good about the Indian team; they will always hold them responsible. Please find what is the truth and then point fingers,” Gavaskar was quoted as saying to Sports Tak.
“I will never believe that Indian players refused to play the 5th Test” – Sunil Gavaskar
Following the cancellation of the match, letters supposedly written by the Indian players to the BCCI started making the rounds. It was determined that a few Indian senior players refused to play the game but there has been nothing concrete as of yet which confirms it. Keeping this in mind, Gavaskar said:
“Our players worked so hard to lead the series 2-1. And in Manchester, their bowlers would have been aided… why wouldn’t they want to play? They would want to play the match because they can win the series 3-1.”
“So I will never believe that Indian players refused to play the 5th Test. If these reports are true, then the BCCI needs to officially say, that ‘Yes, our players said that they won’t play’. Else, I would request not to make such claims without any proof,” Sunil Gavaskar added.
The result of the game is yet to be determined and the series currently stands in favor of India at 2-1. The ECB has formally written to the ICC to adjudicate the outcome of the 5th Test.