IND vs ENG 5th Test cancelled: As the Manchester Test ended being called off following Virat Kohli & Co’s refusal to take the field amid the COVID-19 scare, the fingerpointing has begun. While former England players including former England captain Michael Vaughan said that India let English cricket down, the neutral parties like Shane Warne are disappointed that the intriguing series had to end this way.
India have let English Cricket down !!! But England did let South African Cricket down !!!
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) September 10, 2021
IND vs ENG 5th Test cancelled: The 5th Test at Manchester was cancelled after India’s assistant physio Yogesh Parmar tested COVID-19 positive, five days after head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar tested positive. Although none of the Indian players returned positive test, Virat Kohli & Co were reluctant to take the field due to COVID scare.
Michael Vaughan said by not taking the field on Friday, Virat Kohli & Co let English cricket down but also cited how ECB put Cricket South Africa in a similar situation. Former Australian spin legend Shane Warne said it was a shame that the series had to end this way.
This is such a shame – as it’s been a wonderful series ! https://t.co/tPPrAJXCoT
— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) September 10, 2021
IND vs ENG 5th Test cancelled: Another former England captain Kevin Pietersen said ECB should stop the blame game and should not point finger at BCCI for incurring a huge loss as they left South Africa series amid Covid scare and CSA ended up losing a huge chunk of money.
England left the tour of SA for Covid scares & cost CSA plenty, so don’t go pointing fingers! 👀
— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) September 10, 2021
IND vs ENG 5th Test cancelled: However, reactions are mostly divided. Many English fans and former players blamed Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli for attending the book launch party before the 4th Test in London. Many pointed that it is where Shastri might have contracted the virus. The others blamed BCCI for prioritising IPL over the 5th Test. The IPL 2021 resumes on September 19 and the players entered a bio-bubble in Manchester. From there, they would have boarded a charter flight to the UAE.
IND vs ENG 5th Test cancelled: But even if one player tests positive, it could derail BCCI’s plans as the cricketers will be isolated for 10 days, giving a blow to the opening week of IPL 2021.
The Ravi Shastri book launch is going to get a fair bit of scrutiny I think. On the one hand, idiotic for players & staff to mingle w public w/o any precautions. But on the other, there wasn’t a strict biosecure environment. No rules strictly broken. 🤷🏻♀️ #ENGvIND
— Isabelle Westbury (@izzywestbury) September 10, 2021
But Indian fans and ex-cricketers defended the call-off and blamed ECB and England stadium authorities for lax security. There were frequent pitch invaders and that could have contributed to the COVID-19 cases while many blamed ECB for not implementing strict bio-bubble in the first place.
England were within their rights back then and so are India now. If anything India honoured their commitment and completed the Oval test despite entire coaching staff getting positive during the game. #ENGvsIND #perspective pic.twitter.com/F2LBQ8gDSA
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) September 10, 2021
— Pragyan Ojha (@pragyanojha) September 10, 2021
Mad times but I suppose we’re prepared for everything in the current climate. Some questions – what happens to the points/how does the series end? If not forfeited? Will there be a chance to complete it another time? #ENGvIND
— Isa Guha (@isaguha) September 10, 2021
However, BCCI secretary Jay Shah later confirmed in a statement that the 5th Test will be played at a later date and the series remains unfinished with India leading 2-1.
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