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“Players Refused To Play, Can’t Blame Them”: Sourav Ganguly On 5th Test Cancellation


Sourav Ganguly said Indian players were “dead scared” after team physio tested positive in Manchester.© AFP

Former India captain and current Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly has expressed his views on the cancellation of the fifth Test between India and England following a Covid outbreak in the Indian team contingent. Many speculated that the resumption of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 had played a part in the Manchester Test match being cancelled, but the BCCI president made it clear that the IPL had nothing to do with the decision. Speaking to The Telegraph, the BCCI president said that the Indian players feared contracting Covid and “refused to play” after physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive.

“No, no, the BCCI will never be an irresponsible board. We value other boards too,” Ganguly was quoted as saying by The Telegraph when asked whether IPL played a role in the calling off of the fifth Test.

The former India captain said that the Indian players were “dead scared” about contracting the disease after the team’s second physio tested positive.

“The players refused to play but you can’t blame them. Physio Yogesh Parmar was such a close contact of the players. Being the only one available after Nitin Patel isolated himself, he mixed freely with the players and even performed their COVID-19 tests. He also used to give them a massage, he was part of their everyday lives…. The players were devastated when they came to know that he had tested positive for COVID-19,” Ganguly said.

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“They feared they must have contracted the disease and were dead scared. It’s not easy staying in a bubble. Of course, you have to respect their feelings,” he added.

Hours before the toss at Old Trafford, the ECB issued a statement stating that the fifth Test match has been canceled as “India are regrettably unable to field a team.”

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