Former England captain David Gower claims that India captain Virat Kohli e-mailed the BCCI regarding his reservations towards taking the field for the fifth and final Test in Manchester at mid-night after another member of their support staff tested positive for the coronavirus.
Hours before the toss, the Manchester Test was called off with BCCI, and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) releasing separate statements with their own interpretation for the decision. While ECB claimed India were unable to field a team, BCCI said there’s covid outbreak in their camp.
The entire sequence of event played out in quick time with the fate of the five-match series, which India leads 2-1, still anybody’s guess at the moment.
Gower says the events leading up to the stunning decision need to be explained.
“Wow! No one, least of all I, saw that coming,” Gower told cricket.com. “It leads us into unprecedented territories. I mean I know other matches have been abandoned… sometimes a few balls bowled and various other circumstances but to have the thing called off at the last moment – Virat Kohli e-mailed the BCCI at midnight the day before – the whole sequence of events needs explaining a little bit better.”
Soon after cancellation last Friday, India cricketers began flying out of UK to UAE where they have linked up with their respective franchises for the resumption of the second leg of IPL 2021.
Gower reckons more information surrounding the fateful Manchester Test could emerge in the coming weeks.
“Over the next days and week, more things would emerge,” he said. “One or two things we haven’t heard so far might come out to the public ears. But it does seem by the way that the Indian players have high-tailed out of town so quickly, already in the UAE preparing for the IPL. Maybe you can argue that it is sensible given the circumstances. It gives them the best chance to be part of it. But maybe that suggests that the IPL and cancellation were linked. There were some private things said between the Indian team and Indian board.”