India-England Test series ended on a sad note with the fifth and final Test not being held as a result of the Covid-19 crisis in the Virat Kohli-led camp. The situation began with Ravi Shastri testing positive for Covid-19 during the fourth and penultimate Test, followed by both bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R. Sridhar also being infected.
India’s head physio Nitin Patel and Yogesh Parmar (who replaced Nitin after his positive report)both tested positive with the virus before the start of the final Test match at Manchester; forcing the Indian players to request the tour to be cancelled. As a result of his tour being canceled, many have criticized Shastri for spreading the virus, especially after attending his book launch in London where Covid-19 protocols were followed. Therefore, the event is being cited as the major cause of the deadly virus spreading in Team India camp.
Salman Butt, a former Pakistan captain, defended Shastri and said, ‘Both the teams were existing inside a high-protection zone. As far as the rest of England is concerned, we saw that nobody was wearing a mask in the crowd. Everyone was seated next to each other without any social distancing. Everything is open there and, on that front, he (Shastri) is right.’
Jarvo (or Jarvo 69) invaded the pitch three times during the India-England Test matches, and, therefore, not having the Covid-19 protocols in place made it easier for the virus to spread within the Indian camp. ‘Even when Jarvo intruded onto the pitch and collided with [Jonny] Bairstow who batting at the time, apart from him being apprehended, nothing else was said or done. So, it didn’t look like a strict bio-bubble at all. If such a thing happened in an Asian country, England would have caused problems and other countries would have talked about it too. Because it happened in England, then it’s not a problem.’
‘If Ravi Shastri did step out, where were the concerned authorities? Why wasn’t he told that he can’t break the bubble? There are people who are present to assure and maintain the bubble and they stop people from going out. They stop people from going too close to each other and make sure there is enough distance. Nothing of this sort was there,’ added Butt.
The India-England Tests ended with Kohli & Co. having a 2-1 lead in the five Tests. There is yet to be a decision from the ICC regarding the final Test to be held at Old Trafford, Manchester.