The cancellation of the fifth and final Test between India and England in Manchester due to fears of more COVID-19 cases in the visitors’ camp was on Friday described as ‘absolute shame’ and anticlimax to a ‘wonderful series’. (More Cricket News)
Many of them, however, refused to point fingers on India, who were leading the series 2-1, reminding that England had done the same in South Africa.
The Test was cancelled just a couple of hours before the toss after India were left on tenterhooks following physio Yogesh Parmar’s positive COVID-19 test that led to concerns that the infection could spread during the match.
“This is such a shame - as it’s been a wonderful series!” Australian spin legend Shane Warne wrote on his Twitter handle on the cancellation of the Old Trafford Test. England batting great Kevin Pietersen said there should not be fingers pointed on the Indians for deciding not to play the Test.
“England left the tour of SA for Covid scares & cost CSA plenty, so don’t go pointing fingers!” he tweeted. “Just remember what I said about where Test Cricket will be at in 2026…”
Former England captain Michael Vaughan tweeted: “India have let English Cricket down!!! But England did let South African Cricket down!!!” Another former England captain Nasser Hussain said after both sides and the game of cricket went through this summer, it would have been nice to finish the series off.
“The bubble time they have done and everything that has been done to get this series on, it's a real shame that it has to end on such a low note,” he said on Sky Sports. Former England batsman Mark Butcher said the restart of the Indian Premier League in the UAE on September 19 could be one of the reasons for the cancellation of the Test.
“The IPL restarts in the UAE on September 19 and any further postponement of the Test pushed the Indian players beyond the start of the competition (IPL),” he said on Sky Sports.
“Also, should any of the Indian players test positive in the meantime, they would have to further quarantine another 10 days in the UK before they are able to leave,” he added.
“There could be multiple reasons but it is absolute shame that the series has not been played out the way it was meant to.” He said it has been a tremendous series and India had been a fantastic team, giving England the real run for their money in home conditions.
“We had an inkling last night that there could be an issue, there was talk of postponement of the Test match which of course would have caused as many problems as it can solve.” Royal Challengers Bangalore, which is captained by India skipper Virat Kohli, said the right decision has been taken.
“Health and safety of everyone involved is paramount and the right call has been made. We hope and pray that everybody is safe,” the RCB tweeted.
Another IPL side Punjab Kings described the development as ‘sad news’. Former England woman cricketer Isa Guha tweeted: “Mad times ... Some questions - what happens to the points/how does the series end? If not forfeited? Will there be a chance to complete it another time?”