MANCHESTER: Former England captain Michael Vaughan has said the Manchester Test between India and England was cancelled because players were petrified of catching covid and missing the Indian Premier League (IPL).
The fifth and final Test between India and England was cancelled on Friday after the visitors’ assistant physio tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.
“Let’s be honest, this is all about money and the IPL. The Test has been cancelled because players were petrified of catching covid and missing the IPL,” Vaughan wrote in his column for The Telegraph.
“In a week or so we will be watching the IPL and the players will be running around smiling and happy. But they should have trusted the PCR tests. We know a lot about this virus now. We know how to manage and handle it better. Players are double vaccinated and biosecurity can be raised very quickly,” he added.
Vaughan also said that he finds it hard to believe that India found it tough to find 11 players for the final Test against England.
“The game of cricket needed this Test match. The series was brilliantly poised. It just does not sit comfortably that a Test match can be cancelled 90 minutes before the toss. It is completely disrespectful towards the paying public,” said Vaughan.
England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) CEO Tom Harrison 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.
“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 Harrison in an official statement.
“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,” he added.
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.