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India's cricket board chief Sourav Ganguly said their players refused to play the fifth and final Test against England due to COVID-19 concerns and denied that the upcoming Indian Premier League played no role in the decision.
The fifth Test was canceled in the last minute, the tourists who were leading the series 2-1, failed to field a side after their physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar tested positive for COVID-19.
“The players refused to play, but you can’t blame them. Physio Yogesh Parmar was such a close contact of the players. Being the only one available after Nitin Patel isolated himself, he mixed freely with the players and even performed their Covid-19 tests. He also used to give them a massage, he was part of their everyday lives,” said Ganguly to Telegraph.
“The players were devastated when they came to know that he had tested positive for Covid-19. They feared they must have contracted the disease and were dead scared. It’s not easy staying in a bubble. Of course, you have to respect their feelings,” Ganguly added.
Ganguly also said the match will happen but it won’t be in continuation of the five-match Test series.
“The Old Trafford Test has been canceled. They have incurred a lot of losses and it’s not going to be easy on the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). Let things settle down a bit, then we can discuss and decide. Whenever it’s held next year, it should be a one-off match since it cannot be a continuation of the series anymore,” he added.