With the series locked at 2-1 in the visitors’ favour, the fifth and final India-England Test at Old Trafford, Manchester, promised to be an exciting culmination to a hardly-fought series. However, and as fate would have it, the Test was cancelled hours before the scheduled toss due to a Covid-19 scare in the Indian camp. Several experts have weighed in on the situation and the latest to join the bandwagon is Aakash Chopra.
Numerous cricketers and pundits have put the blame on the Indian camp, citing that the resumption of IPL 14 has led to the cancellation of the Test instead of it being rescheduled to a later date. While speaking on his YouTube channel, former India opener Chopra hit back at such claims, citing the examples of England’s decision-making in the past.
“You have to look slightly inwards. You came back from South Africa, there was no positive case in your contingent. Sri Lanka – you went back again. You went back to your home from other nations in a jiffy. So, why such sudden desensitization towards Covid?” said Chopra.
Addressing the difference in opinions between BCCI and ECB, Chopra remarked:
“The Indian board believes it is a Covid-related cancellation, obviously, because the cases are growing one after the other. Even though our players have tested negative today and yesterday, they might come out positive in the coming days.”
“England believes that the touring party had twenty players, all of them have come negative in two Tests, there is no case there, then why are you considering it a Covid cancellation.”
The cricketer-turned-commentator then went to present his take on the matter, saying that Covid-related do take a toll on the players’ mental health and that these are “extraordinary circumstances.”
“My take is that these are extraordinary circumstances. You have to and should consider it a Covid cancellation, for the simple reason that you might not have Covid now but it is found after three or four days, or your neighbor gets it, then you are not in the right frame of mind. It is not that Covid has not happened and you are thinking about ways to get out of the series.”