Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman has defended Team India’s decision to withdraw from the final Test in Manchester due to the covid-19 outbreak in the team. Various coaches, including head coach, Ravi Shastri, gave positive results in their RT-PCR tests.
Laxman believes the team could not have played the game after being in close contact with positive members. He was of the opinion that the way it ended was disappointing, but the safety of the players should always be the biggest concern for any board around the world.
“It was a sudden, somewhat disappointing end to an insane series, but given the circumstances in which the last Test at Old Trafford was canceled, it is unfair to point fingers or play the blame game. More than a year and a half since the pandemic, the world is still far from a safe place.”
“It may be tempting for many people to consider the Indian team as the villain of the piece, but I can say from our IPL experiences this summer that once any member of the team that you were in close contact with positive tests, it was impossible is not to be afraid, indeed afraid,Laxman wrote in his column for TOI.
‘I hope the ICC sees the situation and awards the series 2-1 to India’ – VVS Laxman
The ECB is reported to lose around 40 million euros after the cancellation of the Manchester Test. To compensate for the losses, BCCI offered to play a Test match and two T20Is next summer, in addition to the white ball series. This should be taken into account when, according to Laxman, the ICC decides the outcome of the final test.
“I hope the ICC can see the situation and award the series 2-1 to India, especially since the BCCI offered to play a Test during their white ball tour of England next year.”
“Taking the field in that mental state is far from ideal. It is also the potential risk of endangering others in the park, whether it is your teammates, the officials or the opponents. Against this background, I think the cancellation of the Test was the right call, but I feel deeply about the fans who invested so much time, money and emotion in the match,”Laxman added.
The ECB formally requested the ICC to get involved with its Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) and help decide on the outcome of the final test. If the ICC considers it a forfeiture of India, the series ends 2-2. Otherwise the match is invalidated and the series is awarded to India.