Kolkata: Indian cricket commentator and former India captain Sunil Gavaskar hailed the BCCI’s offer to reschedule the canceled 5th Test in Manchester on Friday while saying it’s vital not to forget England’s gesture in 2008 following the terror attacks at a Mumbai hotel.
The Indian camp was fearful of Covid-19 after their assistant physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive for the virus on Thursday, therefore the Manchester Test was called off hours before the scheduled start of play on September 10.
The first round of RT-PCR tests revealed that all India players were negative, however, the Test was called off due to concerns about probable illnesses.
Meanwhile, India was unable to field its squad, according to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). Thereafter, in a statement, the BCCI stated that it is providing a reschedule of the canceled Test and that both boards will attempt to identify a time slot for the series finale.
Sunil Gavaskar told Sony Sports that England had returned for a Test series in 2008 after the horrendous terror attack in Mumbai on November 26 forced the cancellation of the final two ODIs of a seven-match series.
On November 26, England was playing India in a One-Day International (ODI) in Cuttack when the attacks began. As England returned home, the cancellation of the final two One-Day Internationals placed uncertainty on the upcoming two-match Test series.
England, on the other hand, has returned to play the two-test series that was originally slated to take place in Ahmedabad and Mumbai. India defeated a Kevin Pietersen-led side 1-0 after the locations were switched to Ahmedabad and Chennai.
“Yes, I think that (rescheduling the canceled Test) would be the correct thing to do. Look, we, in India, should never forget what the England team did in 2008 after the horrific attack, the 26/11. They came back. They would have been perfectly entitled to say ‘we don’t feel safe. We are not coming back,” Gavaskar said.
“Never forget that Kevin Pietersen led the team, and he was the main man. If KP had said, no I don’t want to go, that would have been the end of the matter. It was because KP was willing to go and he convinced the others, the team came and we had that fantastic Test match in Chennai where India chased 380 to win on the last day. Don’t forget, the gesture of the ECB has to be remembered,” the Indian cricket commentator added.
India may be able to play the canceled Test when they visit England for a limited-overs series in July 2022, according to Gavaskar on the rescheduled date of this test. Following the conclusion of the IPL next year, the ECB finalized the calendar for three ODIs and as many T20Is in July 2022.
“It’s absolutely apt that the BCCI now says, right next year, we are still coming to England. I think there will be a little lean period. I think the IPL will finish in early June. So there is enough time for them to go a few days early, depending on whether we still have Covid and all the restrictions, and maybe play a Test match before or after.
This is fantastic news coming that the BCCi will make up for it. This is exactly what the relations between boards should be”, the legendary Indian captain added.
India was 2-1 up in the five-match series. The Indian players took the field in the 4th Test at the Oval last week despite their head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun, and fielding coach R Sridhar testing positive hours before the start of play.
Kohli’s team was waiting for the results of their second RT-PCR test, which was expected on Friday. All eyes will now be on the restart of the IPL 2021, which is set to begin on September 19 in the United Arab Emirates.