Due to the Covid-19 concern in the Indian camp, the fifth India-England match, which was set to begin on Friday in Manchester, has been postponed indefinitely.Sunil Gavaskar believes that cancelling the match was the right decision.
The former India opener said: “Yes, I think that (rescheduling the cancelled Test) would be the correct thing to do. Look, we, in India, should never forget what the England team did in 2008 after the horrific attack, the 26/11. They came back. They would have been perfectly entitled to say ‘we don’t feel safe. We are not coming back”
“That gesture of the ECB must be remembered”,the 72-year old added.
The visiting team, England, was playing India in a One Day International match at Cuttack on November 26 2008 when terrorists attacked Mumbai, forcing the cancellation of the final two ODIs of the seven-match series.But the England team did return for the two-match Test series. The second Test was moved from Mumbai to Chennai.The series was won 1-0 by India.
Following ongoing conversations with the BCCI, the ECB can confirm that the fifth LV= Insurance Test at Emirates Old Trafford, due to start today, will be cancelled.
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 10, 2021
Gavaskar Lauds Kevin Pietersen
Gavaskar recounted the incident, and stated that England’s then-captain Kevin Pietersen was influential in the team’s decision to return.
“Never forget that Kevin Pietersen led the team, and he was the main man. If KP had said, no I don’t want to go, that would have been the end of the matter. It was because KP was willing to go and he convinced the others, the team came and we had that fantastic Test match in Chennai where India chased 380 to win on the last day,” added Gavaskar.
Gavaskar described the BCCI’s offer to reschedule the Test as “great news,” noting that the cancelled Test may be rescheduled after IPL 2022.
“It’s absolutely apt that the BCCI now says, right next year, we are still coming to England. I think there will be a little lean period. I think the IPL will finish in early June. So there is enough time for them to go a few days early, depending on whether we still have Covid and all the restrictions and maybe play a Test match before or after,” said the batting legend.