Manchester: Former England captain Nasser Hussain has said that while the situation on the cancellation of the fifth Test between England and India is evolving, it is a mess. He also said that there has been no clarification on the result of the match. The fifth Test between England and India scheduled to start from Friday was cancelled due to fears of further increase in number of COVID-19 cases in the Indian camp.
“While it is an evolving situation, it’s a mess. The only thing I can tell you is that the final Test is off. There won’t be a Test match here at Old Trafford. There’s not one here scheduled for next year for the moment. This Test match is not happening. There is still a debate about who has forfeited and the actual result of the game, that hasn’t been clarified yet. The ECB will work that out with India and the ICC in due course. So, there’s been no forfeiture. It is just an evolving situation where this Test match has been cancelled and that will be the end of the Indian tour of England,” said Hussain while speaking to Sky Sports from Old Trafford Cricket Ground.
Hussain expressed his sympathies with the Indian players after the team’s second physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar tested positive for COVID-19. “I have a lot of sympathy with the Indian players. I think its their second physio — the first physio with Ravi Shastri and rest of the backroom staff — fifth day at The Oval, they had to isolate after testing positive. The second physio who had been treating all the players. You can imagine fifth Test match. There will be sore bodies, sore bowlers. You cannot do physiotherapy without close contact and without literally being in the faces. So have a lot of sympathy with all those players and even though they have tested negative, a couple of times now the incubation period, two or three days, they will be worried suddenly in the middle of the Test match, they test positive and suddenly three or four players have to go down and then you have covid subs, etc. It is a mess.”
The 53-year-old Hussain showed his sympathies for the fans who were on their way to the stadium for watching the Test match. “But my actual sympathy is with the crowd. I got into the cab this morning to come here, someone shouted ‘I will see you down at the ground’. I was like ‘I don’t think you will for what I am hearing’. People would have booked hotels and taken off days from their work. I am hearing from the ECB that there will be refund on ticket sales.
“But I can imagine how many people have waited to come here and watch this Test match which was set up perfectly. 2-1 up India, England could bounce back. It is always a great Test match in an atmosphere here. After what both sides and cricket have been through the summer, it would have been nice just to finish it off. Everyone on the backroll, the bubble time they have done and everything that has been done to get this series on, it is a real shame that it has to end on such a low note,” concluded Hussain.
Former England cricketer Mark Butcher has called the cancellation of the fifth Test between England and India as tremendously disappointing for all the cricket fans.
Tremendously disappointing for all the cricket fans. It has been an incredible series. India are a fantastic team. They have given England a real run for their money in their home conditions. Everybody was wondering to see how this one was going to pan out,” said Butcher to Sky Sports.
He wondered whether the second Ieg of IPL 2021 had a role to play. “There are also other factors I suppose to think of. People would be talking about the fact that the IPL restarts in the UAE on the 19th and any sort of further postponement to the Test match would push the Indian players and English players that are involved in it beyond the start of the competition.
“Also, should any of the Indian players who are in the side sort of then test positive in the meantime, don’t forget Ravi Shastri the Indian coach and some of the backroom staff were tested positive during The Oval Test match. I believe the team physio has gone down in the last day or so. Then they would have to quarantine for further 10 days in the UK before leaving. There are all kinds of factors that play at the moment. The overriding thought for me is that it is an absolute shame that this series is not gonna play out the way it was meant to,” added Butcher.