The Indian team had refused to play after the members of the support staff including head coach Ravi Shastri were found to be Corona positive. Due to this the Manchester Test was cancelled.
Sourav Ganguly became the President of BCCI in 2019.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly on Monday said that a proposed Test match between India and England should be considered as the fifth and deciding match of the series due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the Indian camp. It was canceled after the case was found. He also ruled out the possibility of treating this match as a one-off Test. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has written to the International Cricket Council (ICC) seeking the decision of the Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) on the fate of the canceled match. The ICC has not yet given any reply in this matter. This match was to be played from 10 September at Old Trafford, Manchester.
Ganguly said in a special conversation with PTI, ‘We want the series to be completed because this will be our first win in the series (in England) after 2007. BCCI believes that Test cricket is the original format and it will not be compromised under any circumstances. When this match was cancelled, India were leading 2-1 in the series. The Indian team had refused to play after members of the support staff, including head coach Ravi Shastri, tested positive for COVID-19. If the match is categorized as ‘lost’, it could result in an insurance cover of £40 million for the ECB. He has claimed that this will help him to recover the loss due to the cancellation of the match.
Ganguly said – whatever test should be a part of the series
Asked if the BCCI has offered to play two extra T20Is in lieu of Tests during the limited overs series in July next year, Ganguly said, “We are ready to play additional ODIs and T20Is.” And this is not the issue. It is just that the Test match that will be played later will be the fifth match of the series. If the ICC feels that the match could not be organized due to COVID-19, then India will officially win the series 2-1. The cancellation of matches in this way is considered ‘acceptable’ under the rules related to COVID of the World Test Championship.
Ganguly told that he could not put too much pressure on the players
Ganguly said, ‘In the last 18 months, due to COVID-19, priority was given to cancel the series. BCCI had canceled their home series against South Africa last year due to which we had lost Rs 4-5 crore. He also expressed the hope that in future there will be concrete ‘medical advice’ in such cases so that the series can be continued even if cases of COVID are found inside the team. The former captain said, ‘Because we know how damaging it is in terms of viewers and television viewers, especially when such an exciting series is being played. Test cricket is the first priority of BCCI.
Ganguly said that the BCCI was disappointed that the match could not be held but it could not pressurize the concerned players beyond a limit. He said, ‘We are extremely disappointed that this series ended in the middle. The only reason for this was the outbreak of COVID-19 and the safety of the players. We can force them only up to a limit. The pandemic is so bad that no one can go beyond a certain limit.
Ganguly was asked whether it was considered to field a new team by resting senior players who felt uncomfortable playing, he replied in the negative. He said, ‘No it was not an option as Yogesh Parmar (junior physio who tested positive before the match) had close contact with all the players. So it was definitely a cause for concern. This is something that no one has control over and the players had their families along with them.
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