London: The controversy over cancellation of the final Test between India and England refuses to die.
Eight days after the Manchester Test was a non-starter hours before Virat Kohli and Joe Root were to go out for the toss, former England pacer Darren Gough claimed that Indian players had broken COVID-19 protocol.
“I didn’t see it coming. Not at all. I get the bubble life, I get the mental health and I get all that 100 per cent, but what after the Oval Test? They broke the protocol, went to the book launch. They all jumped on public transport from London to Manchester. Few of them went out shopping before the Test match,” Gough told former Australian cricketers Brendon Julian and Glenn McGrath on Fox Cricket.
With the series nicely poised as India led 2-1, the final Test at Old Trafford was called off after the Indian players refused to take the field because of COVID-19 fears.
Assistant physio Yogesh Parmar had tested positive a day before the match, and though Indian players had tested negative after that, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly revealed they were “scared to death”.
Like several ex-cricketers, Gough is certain that the IPL had a role to play in the abandonment of the Test.
“What annoyed me about it was to cancel a Test match when people had already gone to watch the game. It was out of order. We all know what it was about. The IPL is a great tournament. Same as the other tournaments around the world like the PSL and Big Bash. The talk about bubble life and being stuck in once place and one time – they’ve got to divide out. They are doing 6-7 days of quarantine and then they are in the bubble life of the IPL for another 4 weeks. Then they’ve got the World Cup and then New Zealand come in,” Gough added.
“So I just think it was a case of getting out of there. They wanted to play the IPL from the very start. I have no problem with that, but it’s the fans that for me are the ones again who get done.”