The Indian team’s physio, Yogesh Parmar, tested positive on Wednesday, and the players were nervous since then, especially because Parmar had been in frequent contact with them. As a result, the match was eventually canceled.
Former England Cricketer, David Gower has revealed what transpired between India skipper Virat Kohli and the BCCI on the eve of the Manchester Test match. Gower stated that he was surprised by the cancellation and added that additional clarity and revelations from both parties are required in order to provide a more transparent picture of the issue.
Update: The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the match, however, the outbreak of Covid-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the Old Trafford Test.
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 10, 2021
“Wow! No one, least of all I, saw that coming. It leads us into unprecedented territories. I mean I know other matches have been abandoned… sometimes a few balls bowled and various other circumstances but to have the thing called off at the last moment – Virat Kohli e-mailed the BCCI at midnight the day before – the whole sequence of events needs explaining a little bit better,” said Gower.
There were some private things said between the Indian team and Indian board-David Gower
The news you’ve all been waiting for: King Kohli and Miyan Magic have joined the team in Dubai. 🤩
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) September 12, 2021
The Indian players left for the UAE shortly after the match was cancelled, where they will compete in the second half of the IPL 2021. Due to this, David Gower feels there may be a relationship between the Indian players’ decision to cancel the fifth Test and the cash-rich tournament. While Gower isn’t sure whether that’s factual, the former England captain believes, that will be “disappointing” if it is.
While Kohli has always been a strong supporter of Test cricket, David Gower believes the cancellation of the Manchester Test – if it is due to the IPL – is “tragic.”
“The worrying thing for me is this: If the IPL was so very closely linked to this, then that to me is very disappointing because… I mean sound old, crusty, but for all those people like me and dare I say, Virat… the last time he was in England, he made a big point about how important Test match cricket is to him… So, for all of us who like Test cricket and value it as the best part of the game, to see a Test abandoned like this was tragic.
“Over the next days and week, more things would emerge. One or two things we haven’t heard so far might come out to the public ears. But it does seem by the way that the Indian players have high-tailed out of town so quickly, already in the UAE preparing for the IPL. Maybe you can argue that it is sensible given the circumstances.
“It gives them the best chance to be part of it. But maybe that suggests that the IPL and cancellation were linked. There were some private things said between the Indian team and Indian board”, the 64-year old added.
Meanwhile, the BCCI has reportedly offered to play two additional T20I matches or the postponed Test on their upcoming visit to England, although this is unlikely to be part of this series, which Kohli’s team at the moment, leads 2-1.