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Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
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Ravi Shastri Defends Book Launch Event

Ravi Shastri has defended his book launch event, saying that anything could have happened from the opening Test match of the series. The Indian cricket team’s camp was hit by COVID-19 last week when Ravi Shastri’s lateral flow test returned positive after day 3 of the 4th Test match. Following him, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar contracted the infection.

On the eve of the 4th Test, junior physio Yogesh Parmar also tested positive for COVID-19, which led to the cancellation of the 5th Test match, which was to start on September 10. While the source of COVID-19 isn’t known, some are criticizing Shastri for his book launch event as it took place with over 100 people in attendance.

Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli during Shastri's book launch event in London | Twitter
Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli during Shastri’s book launch event in London | Twitter

Ravi Shastri: The UK Is Open As Anything Could Have Happened From 1st Test

Indian skipper Virat Kohli and other members of Team India were also present at the event. Ravi Shastri, who is in isolation in the UK, has responded to the criticism and defended the book launch event.

“The whole country [United Kingdom] is open. Anything could have happened from Test One,” Shastri was quoted as saying by mid-day.

“It’s been the best summer of cricket England has seen in a long time certainly from an Indian cricket team. It’s Covid times, awesome summer though. The boys were fantastic either side of the Thames.”

Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The cancelled 5th Test match is likely to take place at a rescheduled date as the BCCI said that the two boards will look to find a window for the fixture. Team India is scheduled to play a white-ball series against England next year and the one-off fixture could take place then.

Indian Players Who Feature In IPL Too Joined Their Respective Franchises And serving 6 Day Mandatory Quarantine Period

Meanwhile, the majority of Indian players have joined their IPL franchises in UAE. They are now serving the six-day mandatory isolation period. The 2nd phase of IPL 2021 kicks off on September 19. Ravi Shastri and other COVID-19 positive coaches will land in India after completing their isolation period. They will likely reach UAE for T20 World Cup next month.

The players started departing in clusters — some in charter flights arranged by their franchises like Mumbai Indians and Sunrisers Hyderabad while Chennai Super Kings cricketers took commercial flights. RCB captain Virat Kohli and his premier pacer Mohammed Siraj also took a charter flight from Manchester.

The three Punjab Kings players in the Indian Test side – KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, and Mohammed Shami – are also taking commercial flights out of England. England players in the franchise, none from the Test side, will travel later. As many as six Indian Test players – Rishabh Pant, Ishant Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Prithvi Shaw, Umesh Yadav, and Axar Patel – play for Delhi Capitals. They will join their IPL bubble on Sunday.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (Image Credit: Twitter)

The six-day quarantine rule led to some pull-outs. England trio Jonny Bairstow (Sunrisers Hyderabad), Chris Woakes (Delhi Capitals), and Dawid Malan (Punjab Kings) decided to give the IPL second phase a miss. It isn’t known if the three opted out after consulting the English Cricket Board to manage workload. All three are expected to feature in the Ashes series at the year-end.

Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
Ashes Urn Photo: cricket.com.au
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Manchester Test Cancellation Leads To Ashes 2021-22 Uncertainty

Manchester Test – the fifth and final Test in the ongoing series has been postponed indefinitely in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak within the India contingent. BCCI said it was in talks with the ECB over conducting the Manchester Test at a later date.

The dramatic last-minute cancellation of the deciding fifth Manchester Test at Old Trafford between India and England has heightened the tension already surrounding the upcoming Ashes series, although English cricket’s top administrator still believes postponement is “probably not where we are going to end up”.

But with India having abandoned the fifth Manchester Test against England before a ball was bowled because of COVID-19 fears arising in a more relaxed ‘managed’ environment after officials deemed last year’s strict biosecure bubbles to be an unsustainable imposition on players in the long term, the upcoming Ashes could yet be played under tighter restrictions.

Manchester Test: The message on the scoreboard after the fifth Test was called off PA Photos/Getty Images
Manchester Test: The message on the scoreboard after the fifth Test was called off PA Photos/Getty Images

Manchester Test Cancellation Increased Tension For Ashes Which Would Be Played Under Tighter Restrictions

Several England cricketers have already expressed worries about the current situation in Australia, where arrivals are subject to lengthy quarantine, amid fears that their wives, girlfriends, and families may not be allowed to join them, as would normally be the case, at some stage during the five-match Ashes series.

It was not until just over two hours before Friday’s scheduled to start that the fifth Manchester Test was called off due to Covid-19 concerns within the India camp — a move that left English cricket facing a financial ‘black hole’ estimated at 40 million pounds ($55 million).

Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Reports that Yogesh Parmar, a physiotherapist in close contact with the players had tested positive for Covid appeared to be the final straw in persuading an India side already missing head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach Ramakrishnan Sridhar due to positive Covid tests, with senior physiotherapist Nitin Patel self-isolating, not to take the field in the Manchester Test in a series they led 2-1.

Meanwhile, suggestions India had been too lax in their approach to the new environment, be it Ravi Shastri’s presence at a London launch of his new book featuring some 150 guests, or reports that several of the tourists’ players were out in Manchester on Thursday night are unlikely to have gone unnoticed by Australian officials.

It remains to be seen how the boards can work out a window for the Manchester Test, though one could possibly be carved out when India returns to England next year for a scheduled limited-overs series.

Tom Harrison: Ashes Series Is A Massive Deal For World Cricket

The England and Wales Cricket Board are currently in the process of trying to agree on a set of protocols with their counterparts at Cricket Australia, as well as the Australian government, under which the Ashes can operate. A complicating factor, however, is the ability of individual Australian states to impose their own unilateral lockdowns at a moment’s notice.

“An Ashes series is a massive deal for world cricket,” ECB chief executive Tom Harrison told The Times.

“I think (postponement) is probably not where we are going to end up. All the England players want to be part of it. I totally understand the players’ perspective on families being present and the conditions under which families are present. It’s a conversation we’re having with Cricket Australia and the Australian government.”

The latest edition of Test cricket’s oldest series is set to begin in Brisbane on December 8 before moving to Adelaide ahead of the traditional Boxing Day Test in Melbourne and further matches in Sydney and Perth.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison. (Credits: Twitter)
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison. (Credits: Twitter)

While Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth are largely virus-free and fans are allowed into venues, Sydney and Melbourne are both in lockdown battling outbreaks of the Delta variant with case numbers and deaths rising. Tom Harrison insisted the ECB were simply trying to get answers to questions being asked by England players and had no intention of making excessive demands.

“No one is being unreasonable,” he said. “We just need to get clarity as soon as possible.”

England does not yet know if star all-rounder Ben Stokes, currently taking a break from all cricket to prioritize his mental health, will be available.

Tom Harrison, however, said: “No player has said no (to the tour). We’re speaking to players a lot about this…There’s nothing more important than the health and well-being of our players.”

Ben Stokes, who announced an indefinite break from cricket due to mental health issues ahead of the England and India Test series, is highly doubtful to attend Ashes 2021. Ben Stokes is also not part of the upcoming IPL 2021 UAE leg and wasn’t included in England’s ICC T20 World Cup 2021 squad.

Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Dinesh Karthik file image. (Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
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Indian Players Got The Jitters After Assistant Physio Yogesh Parmar Tested COVID-19 Positive: Dinesh Karthik

Dinesh Karthik has revealed that the Indian players got the jitters after assistant physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive for COVID-19, making them uncomfortable to play the fifth and final Test against England, which was called off hours before its start on Friday.

The game, scheduled to be hosted by Old Trafford, is now expected to be played at a later date. Dinesh Karthik, who is now part of the IPL bubble, had commentated for the first three Tests before he left to join the KKR squad in the UAE to participate in the IPL.

Former KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik (Photo | PTI)
Former KKR skipper Dinesh Karthik (Photo | PTI)

Dinesh Karthik: Indian Players Were Tired And Both Their Physios Tested Covid-19

Senior physio Nitin Patel had tested positive during the fourth Test in London alongside head coach Ravi Shastri and two other support staff members Bharat Arun and R Sridhar.

“I spoke to a few of the guys (Indian players). This is tiring. Almost all games have gone down the wire, they are tired and they have only one physio right now. They had two, but before this one went down along with the chief coach, another couple of the coaches, so they had one physio, so they’ve done a lot of work with that man. And now he tests positive. Now, that is the problem,” Dinesh Karthik told Sky Sports.

“If it was somebody else, somebody was helping you know in terms of logistics and all that they wouldn’t be this afraid but when this person got it, the physio, I think that’s when they got the jitters a little bit,” he added.

Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)
Dinesh Karthik Photo: © Reuters (Main Image)

The series wasn’t taking place in a strict bubble but the players were told to stay indoors for the duration of the fifth Test before taking a flight to the UAE and get into another bubble.

“You also have to understand, as soon as this finishes, they have the IPL soon after that the World Cup, and soon after that the New Zealand series and we are talking about literally one week turnarounds,” Dinesh Karthik said.

“How many bubbles can they do? When they left, when they rather assembled in India they assembled on May 16 it’s four months almost four months. That’s a lot of time already, ” Dinesh Karthik said.

The wicketkeeper-batsman said the players understandably had a tough time mentally once the junior physio tested positive and there was no way day one of the series deciders would have happened as per schedule.

“Let’s take an example for today, most of the guys today haven’t even slept till 2.30-3 in the morning because they don’t know if they have to be ready for the match, they don’t know because you know it’s it’s very late in India, so they don’t know if they’re going to be able to speak to ECB those kinds of discussions were gone, ” Dinesh Karthik said.

So most of them haven’t even slept till 3 O’clock so the Test match happening timely was out of the question almost.

“It’s whether they can delay it further, but you have to imagine you have to remember this that there is a good chance that in the RTPCR test three days later, someone could test positive and if he’s in the playing 11, then what happens to that person,” he said.

“Is he going to spread it around? Is he this super spreader for that point of time, that puts every other player in jeopardy, and then they have to stay 10 days in England then what happens to the IPL, which is supposed to start four days after they land in Dubai.

So it has so many other questions, it’s not necessary that they’ve tested negative today means that two days later they will test negative again. Even if it is one person who does test positive, then that puts the whole thing into another different dimension,” said Dinesh Karthik.

Dinesh Karthik, who was in England till last month as a commentator, said that a lot of the Indian players couldn’t sleep till 3 in the morning, and hence it was almost impossible to go ahead with the Manchester Test. He went on to add that with the IPL just days away, the Indian players were hesitant with this match going ahead as scheduled. The T20 World Cup begins after the IPL and then, India would take on New Zealand.

Dinesh Karthik: Cricketers Were Fearful About Taking The Virus To The IPL Bubble

He informed that the players have been told to remain in their rooms.

“Yes, they are all in the rooms. They have not moved out since the time they heard about the physio. They’ve all been told to stay in the rooms and not move out. And that’s exactly what they’re doing.” Asked if the players were fearful about taking the virus to the IPL bubble,” he said: “Absolutely.

IPL Trophy
IPL Trophy. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

“That is one thing you got to understand, for so long a lot of IPL teams have already come and started quarantined and all of that, the Indian team have not had a major bubble so to say, up until this Test, where they have been told to try not to go out of your rooms even during the game.

But now you know, with a positive result for a certain person, it’s completely different but they’ve been informed that you know we are, we are moving from a bubble to a bubble so we have to kind of make bubble in England when we are here.”

“So for this last test everybody has been told to stay in the rooms don’t move or try and order room service. Play the Test match and get on with it and let’s get to IPL after that so that’s kind of been the mood so to speak (before the match was called off),” added Dinesh Karthik.

Most Indian players have either reached or are en route to the UAE for the IPL, their immediate priority now.

Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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Sourav Ganguly To Meet With ECB Representatives, To Travel To The UK On September 22

Sourav Ganguly will meet with the ECB representatives and the broadcasters over the potential rescheduling of the cancelled 5th Manchester Test. The BCCI boss will travel to the UK on September 22.

Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly will travel to the United Kingdom on September 22 to meet with England cricket representatives to discuss the possible rescheduling of the Manchester Test, which was cancelled on Friday over Covid-19 scare in the Indian camp.

Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
Sourav Ganguly- Twitter

Sourav Ganguly To Meet With ECB Representatives

Sourav Ganguly will meet with ECB representatives and the official broadcasters to try and resolve the situation as both the parties are set to lose a huge amount of money due to the cancellation of the 5th and final Test of the series between England and India.

Hours ahead of the scheduled start of Day 1 of the 5th Test, the fixture was cancelled. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) stated that Indian players were unable to field a team amid the Covid-19 scare in the dressing room.

BCCI, ECB Logo
BCCI, ECB Logo

The BCCI, in a statement, said it will offer a rescheduling to the ECB and that the two boards will work towards finding a window for the Test match amid a busy cricket calendar.

“In lieu of the strong relationship between BCCI and ECB, the BCCI has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the canceled Test match. Both the Boards will work towards finding a window to reschedule this Test match,” the BCCI said.

India had to cancel their training session on Thursday after assistant physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive for Covid-19. India players then were forced into isolation but all of them returned negative results in the first round of RT-PCR tests for Covid-19.
Sourav Ganguly was left impressed with the way India and England are battling in the ongoing 5-match Test series. Sourav Ganguly reckoned that both teams have displayed great skill on the field and there is no substitute for a well-fought series before the Covid-19 positive case resulted in the last Test being postponed. India was leading 2-1.

Senior Members Of Indian Team Were Apprehensive After Yogesh Parmar Tested Covid-19 Positive

Even as they were waiting for the results of the second round of tests, it is understood that the senior members of the team were apprehensive about possible infections within the incubation period as some of them were deemed as close contacts to Yogesh Parmar.

Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
Ravi Shastri Image Source: AP

Notably, Yogesh Parmar was the 4th member of the Indian support staff to test positive for Covid-19 in England. Head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar were not part of the dressing room in the Oval Test after they tested positive for the virus ahead of the start of the 4th Test. India players took the field after two negative RT-PCR Tests in London last week.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison. (Credits: Twitter)
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison. (Credits: Twitter)
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Tom Harrison Frustrated To See Manchester Test Being Cancelled Amid Covid Fears

Tom Harrison, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) CEO has said that it was frustrating to see the fifth Test between England and India being cancelled and the board tried its best to avoid this outcome.

The 5th and final Test match between India and England which was scheduled to begin on September 10 at Old Trafford, Manchester was cancelled after the Covid-19 fear across the Indian camp with staff testing positive. Notably, ahead of the 5th Test match junior physio Yogesh Parmer tested positive for Covid-19 in Manchester and many Indian players were in close contact with him.

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison Getty Images
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison Getty Images

Tom Harrison Is Disappointed For The 5th Test’s Cancellation

Although later the reports of Indian players were found negative still there were a lot of risks involved after the Covid-19 outbreak in the camp. Meanwhile, previously Head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach Ramakrishnan Sridhar, were found positive for Covid-19 and they did not travel with the team to London for the 5th and final Test.

“A huge amount has happened over the last 24 hours, and from one cricket lover to another, I want to say how sorry I am for all the inconvenience caused by the cancellation of this Test match.

“We were all looking forward to what promised to be the culmination of this brilliant Test Series, and I’m so disappointed at not being able to get the match played,” said ECB chief Tom Harrison in an official statement.

Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)

“I have heard many stories today of people who planned for months or saved hard during this pandemic to have a special day out with friends and family. To not see that happen is hard to take. Today’s news will have been so frustrating, especially given the short notice. Please know that we worked through the night to find solutions and avoid this outcome,” Tom Harrison added.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has also offered to the England and Wales Cricket Board ( ECB ) for rescheduling the cancelled Test match.

Tom  Harrison: Refunds To Ticket Holders Will Be Issued Shortly And ECB Will Try To Reschedule The Test Next Year

ECB chief Tom Harrison was frustrated to see that fans were unable to witness the highly anticipated match between the top Test sides in the world. He also stated that they worked really hard to find a solution and avoid this outcome however they failed.

BCCI, ECB Logo
BCCI, ECB Logo

Further in his statement, Harrison said: “Refunds to ticket holders will be issued shortly, and although this will be no consolation to many, we will try to reschedule this long-awaited Emirates Old Trafford Test next summer. Thank you for all your support for England Cricket. It means a great deal to all of us.”

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled 5th Test match which was scheduled to be played at Manchester from Friday. The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the Test match, however, the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the game.

Ahead of the fifth and final Test against England, physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive for COVID-19 in Manchester. This had led to Team India’s training session for Thursday afternoon being cancelled.

India’s refusal to feature in the 5th and final Test against England at Manchester due to fears of Covid-19 has strained relationships between the two teams. While many in the English cricket fraternity are criticising Virat Kohli-led Indian management, some cricketers are reportedly even looking to pull out from the UAE leg of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

World Test Championship, India
Indian test team[photo: Twitter]
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India Will Be Favourites Whenever The Postponed 5th Test Takes Place: Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan, former all-rounder said the Virat Kohli-led Indian side will be the ‘favourites’ to win the postponed fifth Test against England whenever it takes place in the future.

Irfan Pathan’s comments came after the final Test of the India-England series slated to begin in Manchester on Friday was postponed indefinitely two hours before toss due to Covid-19 scares in the Indian camp.

Irfan Pathan (R) and a young Virat Kohli in 2012. (Getty Images)
Irfan Pathan (R) and a young Virat Kohli in 2012. (Getty Images)

Irfan Pathan: India Showed Great Character And Fighting Spirit In England Tour And Will Be Favourites Whenever The Postponed 5th Test Will Take Place

Irfan Pathan said India, who is leading the series 2-1, should be proud of the way they performed in England.

“India showed great character & fighting spirit throughout the series. Giving it back to them with top level of skills was something to be proud of this team. I’m sure India will be the favourites whenever this ‘postponed’ match will be held,” Irfan Pathan tweeted.

Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The India cricket team toured England in August and September 2021 to play five Test matches. Prior to their matches against England, India played New Zealand in the 2021 ICC World Test Championship Final at the Rose Bowl in Southampton in June 2021. The Test series between India and England were the first matches of the 2021–2023 ICC World Test Championship.

The first Test of the series ended in a draw, after more than two days of play was lost across the duration of the match to rain. India won the second Test by 151 runs, in the final hour of the fifth day, to take a 1–0 lead in the series. England won the third Test by an innings and 76 runs before the lunch break on day four, levelling the series 1–1. India won the fourth Test by 157 runs, to lead the series 2–1 before the 5th Test was cancelled.

Jay Shah: Both BCCI And ECB Will Work In Tandem To Find A Window To Reschedule The 5th Test

BCCI secretary said Jay Shah said they will work with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to reschedule the Manchester Test.

“The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the Test Match, however, the outbreak of Covid-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the Old Trafford Test Match.

“In lieu of the strong relationship between BCCI and ECB, the BCCI has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled Test match. Both the Boards will work towards finding a window to reschedule this Test match,” Shah said. 

Secretary BCCI, Jay Shah. Courtesy: Indiatimes
Secretary BCCI, Jay Shah. Courtesy: Indiatimes

ECB CEO Tom Harrison indicated that the rescheduled Test match may not be treated as the fifth Test and instead played as a one-off fixture between the two sides. If that does turn out to be true then the current series will be treated as a four-Test series and India will be declared the winners by virtue of their 2-1 lead.

“No, I think it’s a stand-alone situation. We have been offered a few other options, probably need to take a look (at those),” Harrison told ‘Sky Sports’ when asked whether it would be a stand-alone game or the series-decider.

India head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar and senior physio Nitin Patel had all tested positive during the fourth Test in London and did not travel with the team in Manchester.

The Indian players had no problems in going ahead with the fifth Test until assistant physio Yogesh Parmar tested, who had been helping in the training of most of the Indian cricketers, tested positive on the eve of the Manchester Test.  The Indian players expressed their reservation in taking the field on Friday citing Covid-related concerns, which led to the postponement of the Test match.

BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
BCCI (File Photo| PTI)
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Manchester Test Postponed Indefinitely Amid Covid-19 Fear; BCCI, ECB Will Reschedule The Test Later

Manchester Test- the fifth and final Test in the ongoing series has been postponed indefinitely in the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak within the India squad. In a statement released on Friday, the BCCI said it was in talks with the ECB over conducting the Manchester Test at a later date.
Soon after it emerged that the fifth Manchester Test between England and India at the Old Trafford was getting cancelled – which the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) first called forfeiture but soon changed it & the BCCI called postponement – the big talking point so far has been whether this series has ended up being 2-2 in favour of England and India or 2-1 in India’s favour, which was the result after the first four Tests.
Manchester Test: The message on the scoreboard after the fifth Test was called off PA Photos/Getty Images
Manchester Test: The message on the scoreboard after the fifth Test was called off PA Photos/Getty Images

Manchester Test To Be Rescheduled: BCCI And ECB Will Work Together

It remains to be seen how the boards can work out a window for the Manchester Test, though one could possibly be carved out when India returns to England next year for a scheduled limited-overs series.

This development seems to have ended the possibility of India having to forfeit the Manchester Test match, though further developments are awaited. News that the Manchester Test match wouldn’t begin as originally planned came in hours before the scheduled toss. The development came on the back of intense discussions between the BCCI and the ECB after India’s assistant physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar returned a positive Covid-19 test on Wednesday.

“The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the Manchester Test Match, however, the outbreak of Covid-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the Old Trafford Test Match. The BCCI has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled Test match. Both the Boards will work towards finding a window to reschedule this Test match.”
BCCI, ECB Logo
BCCI, ECB Logo
More than one India player had expressed concerns about taking the field in talks between the BCCI and the team management over the last two days. The entire India squad returned negative RT-PCR tests on Thursday, but results of the second round of testing performed on Thursday are still awaited.
It is understood that the players and both boards suspect another case emerging from this round of tests, and hence the BCCI told the ECB that India would struggle to put out a playing XI for the fifth Manchester Test, which was to be played at Old Trafford from September 10 to 14.
A sense of confusion had spread among the Indian camp in the last two days even as the BCCI was in discussions with ECB over whether to carry on with the series or cancel the final Test. While the discussion carried on through the middle of Thursday night, the Indian contingent remained unaware of what decision the BCCI was going to take.
However, it is understood the BCCI did ask the players to keep their bags ready to fly out to the UAE for the IPL well ahead of the scheduled departure date of September 15, when the bulk of the India and England players were to board charter flights to join their franchises.

Yogesh Parmer’s Close Contacts Couldn’t Be Identified As He Was Training A Wider Group Of Players

After the entire squad returned negative RT-PCR tests on Thursday, it is understood that during one of the meetings with the BCCI, several players grouped into one room for the virtual discussion. Yogesh Parmar had only taken charge midway into the fourth Test at the Oval after lead physio Nitin Patel went into isolation after being identified as a close contact of India head coach Ravi Shastri, who tested positive for Covid-19 on the third evening of the fourth Test at The Oval.
While three members of the contingent – Nitin Patel, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar – were identified as immediate contacts of Ravi Shastri, it was far more difficult to determine who the close contacts of Yogesh Parmar were, considering he was treating a wider group of players. These players have been mingling among the wider group, which has made identifying close contacts even more complicated.
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
In their chats with the BCCI, the players were also concerned about the situation having an impact on their families. Most of the Indian players are travelling with their families. The key concern, though, for the BCCI was it did not want the UAE leg of the IPL 2021 to be impacted considering it is starting in nine days’ time.
With that in mind, the BCCI discussed cancelling the final Test, but the ECB is understood to have made it clear that it would interpret any refusal to play the Manchester Test as forfeiture. The BCCI was keen to avoid such a scenario, as not only would it see England square the series, but it could expose the BCCI to claims of lost revenue from broadcasters and the venue.
The World Test Championship competition terms state that a Covid-19 outbreak within a team is an acceptable reason for a Test to be abandoned – and not forfeited. With the WTC points system now calculated on the basis of the percentage of points contested, a four-Test series instead of five would not adversely impact a side’s points total.

“Following ongoing conversations with the BCCI, the ECB can confirm that the fifth LV= Insurance Manchester Test between England and India Men due to start today at Emirates Old Trafford, will be canceled.  Due to fears of a further increase in the number of COVID cases inside the camp, India is regrettably unable to field a team.”

Had the boards not agreed to the postponement, the series result could have gone into the hands of the ICC match referee Chris Broad based on whether the ECB accepted India’s fears of a larger outbreak in their camp as “acceptable non-compliance” as per the WTC regulations. Cancellation would have given India a 2-1 series victory, and a forfeiture led to a 2-2 draw. Currently, India has pocketed 26 WTC points from the series while England has 14 out of the available 48 points.
Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli during Shastri's book launch event in London | Twitter
Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli during Shastri's book launch event in London | Twitter
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Ravi Shastri And Virat Kohli Due An Explanation To BCCI After Attending Book Launch Flouting Covid-19 Norms

Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli are reportedly due an explanation to the BCCI after attending the former’s book launch event in England.

The Indian cricket team secured a thumping win over England in the 4th Test at the Oval but things aren’t all well at the management level. The news of head coach Ravi Shastri, fielding coach R Sridhar and bowling coach Bharat Arun testing positive for Covid-19 has left the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) miffed.

Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Ravi Shastri And Virat Kohli Due An Explanation To BCCI After Attending The Launch Of Ravi Shastri’s Book

Head coach Ravi Shastri and captain Virat Kohli had both recently went to a public event in England for the launch of the former’s book. According to a report, the duo didn’t take approval from England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for the same. The BCCI will now reportedly seek an explanation from Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri over their action.

“Photos from the event have been shared with BCCI officials. The board will probe the matter. This incident has left the board embarrassed. The coach and the captain will be asked to explain the circumstances after the fourth Test at Oval. The team’s administrative manager Girish Dongre’s role is also under the scanner,” a top BCCI official was quoted as saying by TOI on Monday.

BCCI, ECB Logo
BCCI, ECB Logo

“The BCCI is in touch with ECB and trying to ensure the series is completed without any further incidents. As of now, everyone is hoping that Shastri recovers soon. There is a selection meeting for the T20 World Cup on Wednesday. Maybe the matter will be raised there,” the official added.

With the UK government deciding to end all restrictions, the ECB also removed strict bio-bubble restrictions for the series against India. BCCI secretary Jay Shah, wary of the situation, had asked the players to avoid attending any public event during their stay in England in order to minimize the risk of contracting Covid-19.

BCCI Official: There Will Be A Proper Bubble In Manchester The Venue Of The Final 5th Test

Yet, with their latest actions, Ravi Shastri and Virar Kohli seem to have defied the instructions from Jay Shah. The entire situation has, hence, left the Indian board miffed, and now a strict bio-bubble regulation will be in place for the 5th and the final Test of the series in Manchester.

“This wasn’t an official event that either of the boards had organized. This incident is all the more unsettling because BCCI secretary Jay Shah had written to every team member before the series, asking them to be cautious and refrain from attending crowded events. The action of the team hasn’t gone down well with the board,” the official said.

Secretary BCCI, Jay Shah. Courtesy: Indiatimes
Secretary BCCI, Jay Shah. Courtesy: Indiatimes

“There will be a proper bubble in Manchester. There’s the IPL coming up in UAE five days after the fifth Test finishes. The players will have to move in a bubble to UAE, else they will have to serve a quarantine period upon reaching Dubai. Hopefully, there won’t be any further incidents once the team enters the bubble,” the official said.

Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
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Ravi Shastri Set To Miss 5th Manchester Test For Remaining In Isolation For 14 Days

Ravi Shastri, Team India’s head coach is set to miss the fifth and final Test against England in Manchester as he will remain in isolation for 14 days and can come out only after returning two negative results. The Manchester Test is set to be played from September 10 to 14.

Sources in the know of developments confirmed that Ravi Shastri will remain in isolation for 14 days and needs two negative tests before he can come out of isolation.

Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Ravi Shastri Will Remain In Isolation For 14 Days And Will Have To Return Two Negative Tests

The 59-year-old Ravi Shastri returned positive in a lateral flow test (Rapid Antigen Test) on Sunday and on Monday his RT-PCR test report confirmed the infection. The fifth and final Test is scheduled to start on September 10.

“Unfortunately, Shastri will remain in isolation for 14 days and will have to return two negative tests before he can come out of isolation. He will not be a part of the Indian dressing room till then,” the source said.

File picture of Bharat Arun. - B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM
File picture of Bharat Arun. – B. JOTHI RAMALINGAM

Just half an hour before the start of play on Day 4, the BCCI said its medical team had isolated Ravi Shastri, head coach, Bharat Arun, bowling coach, R. Sridhar, fielding coach, and Nitin Patel, physiotherapist, as a precautionary measure after Ravi Shastri’s lateral flow test returned positive on Saturday evening.

Ravi Shastri Contracted Covid-19 Possibly After Attending Launch Of His Book In The Team Hotel

Ravi Shastri is likely to have got the symptoms after attending the launch of his book in the team hotel where outside guests were also allowed. Bharat Arun, Nitin Patel, and R Sridhar attended that function in person.

The remaining members of the Team India contingent underwent two Lateral Flow Tests — one on Saturday night and another on Sunday morning. The members upon returning negative COVID reports were allowed to proceed for Day 4 of the ongoing fourth Test at The Oval against England.

“Of course, we are missing Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun, and R Sridhar who have been an extremely important part of this setup, they have done well in the past five-six years and they have played a major role in the team doing well. This is what it is, they are not here.”

“In the morning, it was a bit of a distraction, we had a word and we decided we need to focus on the cricket. We are here for this series, and I think the boys did well to not get distracted. There was a potential we could have been distracted, the credit needs to go to the boys for the way they handled themselves,” said Rathour during a virtual press conference on Sunday.

Batting coach Vikram Rathour- PTI
Batting coach Vikram Rathour- PTI

“Ravi Shastri felt ill on Saturday night around 8 PM. He was having a little bit of discomfort yesterday, the medical team decided to go for a lateral flow test and it came out positive and that is when we all found that he is positive. The close contacts were identified and isolated so we will wait for the medical team to tell us when they can join back,” he added. 

 

The batting coach Vikram Rathour also revealed that Ravi Shastri felt a bit of discomfort on Saturday after which the test was conducted.  In the 4th Test, England is up against a herculean task– chasing down 368 against India at the Oval to go 2-1 up in the series.

A century from Rohit Sharma and fifties from Cheteshwar Pujara, Shardul Thakur, and Rishabh Pant in India’s second innings saw India post a strong total of 466, which means that England needs to pull off a record highest run chase at the venue.

In reply, Haseeb Hameed and Rory Burns provided the hosts a solid start. At stumps, England’s score read 77/0, still needing 291 runs for the win with all ten wickets in hand. For the hosts, Rory Burns (31*) and Haseeb Hameed (43*) are at the crease.

Batting coach Vikram Rathour- PTI
Batting coach Vikram Rathour- PTI
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Vikram Rathour: Boys Were Bit Distracted But Handled It Well After Ravi Shastri Tests Positive For COVID-19

Vikram Rathour, India batting coach on Sunday said the team was naturally a bit distracted going into day four of the fourth Test after head coach Ravi Shastri tested positive for COVID-19.

The BCCI medical team had isolated Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar, and physiotherapist Nitin Patel as a precautionary measure after the head coach’s lateral flow test returned positive on Saturday evening.

Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Vikram Rathour: Missed Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun, And R Sridhar Massively Which Was A Bit Of Distraction But Credit Goes To The Team For Handling It Well

Ravi Shastri, fielding coach R Sridhar, bowling coach Bharat Arun and physio Nitin Patel have been isolated from the rest of the Indian team after the head coach’s Covid-19 lateral flow test returned positive.

“Of course, we are missing them massively. Ravi Bhai (Ravi Shastri), B Arun, and R Shridar, they have been an extremely important part of this setup and they have done extremely well (in) the last five-six years and played a major role in the team doing well,”  Vikram Rathour said after the end of day’s play.

Vikram-Rathour-photo
Vikram-Rathour-photo

India was in a commanding position after scoring 466 in the second essay, courtesy of a memorable hundred by Rohit Sharma and equally important knocks by Cheteshwar Pujara, Shardul Thakur, and Rishabh Pant.

“But this is what it is. That’s the fact that they are not here. So, it was in the morning, I think, a bit of a distraction, we had a word, we spoke, (and) decided that we need to focus on what is in hand, which is cricket,” said Vikram Rathour.

“So, we are here for this series, it is an extremely important series that we are playing and today when we came in the morning, it was an extremely important day for us, to focus on cricket. So, I think the boys did extremely well, to not get distracted. There was a potential that we can (be) distracted from the situation that happened last night, but a lot of credit goes to the boys, the way they handled themselves and the way we played as a team,” added Vikram Rathour.

England finished Day 4 at 77-0 by battling out the entirety of the final session. The fixture is well poised at the moment with the hosts needing 291 more runs to win the match while India needs to claim all the 10 wickets to take a 2-1 lead in the series. Openers Rory Burns and Haseeb Hameed gave England a solid start as they ended at 77/0 at Stump’s on Day 4 of the fourth Test at The Oval.

Vikram Rathour is a former Indian cricketer & present India’s batting coach, who played in 6 Tests and 7 ODIs from 1996 to 1997. He was a right-handed opening batsman. Vikram Rathour was a prolific run-scorer at the first-class level, scoring 11473 runs at an average of 49.66 in 146 matches.

Vikram Rathour: Ravi Shastri Had A Litle Bit Of Discomfort On Saturday

The batting coach also revealed that Ravi Shastri felt a bit of discomfort on Saturday after which the test was conducted. Shardul Thakur and Rishabh Pant scored incredible individual fifties as they propelled India to 466 runs in the second innings. India started the day poorly as they lost the wickets of Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, and Ajinkya Rahane in the morning session.

“I would not know the exact time, but it was last night around 8 in the night. He was having a little bit of discomfort yesterday, so the medical team decided to go for a lateral-pro test and it came positive and that is when we heard that he is positive and I think, the close contacts were identified and isolated, so we will wait for the medical team in when they can join back, he added.

Ravi Shastri Image Source : AP
Ravi Shastri Image Source: AP

Shardul Thakur (60 off 72) struck his second fifty of the match and shared a hundred-run stand with Rishabh Pant (50 off 106) to put India in a strong position. India’s innings lasted 148.2 overs.

England 290 and 77 for 0 (Hameed 43*, Burns 31*) need 291 more runs to beat India 191 and 466 (Rohit 127, Pujara 61, Thakur 60, Pant 50, Woakes 3-83)

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