Ever since the 5th Test between India and England has been cancelled due to Covid fears in the Indian team subsequent to its assistant physio Yogesh Parmar contracting the virus, there has been a raging debate on the outcome of the Test match and the role of the IPL in the cancellation.
In his column for Times of India, former India cricketer VVS Laxman expressed his disappointment at the cancellation but felt it was the right call and refused to blame the IPL for this unfortunate incident.
“It was an abrupt, somewhat disappointing end to what had been a cracking series but given the circumstances in which the final Test at Old Trafford was cancelled, it’s unfair to point fingers or play the blame game,” Laxman wrote for Times of India.
“More than a year and a half since the pandemic, the world is still far from a safe place. It might be tempting for many to see 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 have been in close contact with tests positive, it is impossible not to be apprehensive, indeed fearful.
Laxman also added that the series should be awarded 2-1 to India as cancellation was the only way out and in the best interest of players and officials.
“To take the field in that mental state is far from ideal. So is the potential risk of endangering others on the park, be it your teammates, the officials or the opponents. Against that backdrop, I think the cancellation of the Test was the right call, though I feel deeply for the fans who had invested so much time, money and emotion in the contest. I hope the ICC sees the situation for what it is and awards the series 2-1to India, particularly with the BCCI having offered to play a Test during their white ball tour of England next year,” he added.
Laxman further emphasised the importance of bio bubbles and how it should be in place to ensure players’ safety during these uncertain times.
“What this episode reiterates is that we must not let our guard down. If that means having to stay in bubbles, even if the host country doesn’t demand it, so be it. It might be tough on players, agreed, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. I understand bubble fatigue can become a factor, but there can’t be any compromise on safety,” the Indian legend expressed.
He opined that although the series was closely fought, India were a marginally better side and a 3-1 result would have been ideal.
“As for the series itself, it was heady and tempestuous. Fortunes swung wildly though I don’t think anyone was in any doubt about which was the better side; 3-1 to India would have been an accurate reflection of the strengths of the two teams and the quality of cricket they brandished,” Laxman concluded.