After the cancellation of the fifth and final Test between India and England on Friday (September 10), fingers were pointed at the second phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, scheduled to resume from September 19 in UAE.
Notably, the fifth Test was called off two hours before the scheduled start at Old Trafford in Manchester because of coronavirus concerns within the Indian camp. But, some former England players went on to blame the IPL for all the mess, claiming that the fifth Test was suspended in order to make way for the lucrative league.
Now, after all the controversy, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) chief Sourav Ganguly has denied that IPL had played any part in the cancellation of the Manchester Test. Ganguly claimed that Indian players refused to play the match due to COVID-19 concerns.
The former India captain asserted that when physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive for novel coronavirus, it affected players badly as he was in close contact with all of them.
“The players refused to play, but you can’t blame them. Physio Yogesh Parmar was such a close contact of the players … he mixed freely with the players and even performed their COVID-19 tests,” Ganguly told The Telegraph.
“He also used to give them a massage; he was part of their everyday lives. 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,” he added.
Earlier, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive Tom Harrison had also dismissed the link with the IPL regarding the cancellation of the Manchester Test. Harrison had mentioned that the situation had nothing to do with the rescheduled IPL.
“Let me be super-clear about this — I don’t think the IPL has got anything to do with this. This is not a situation that has been created by a rescheduled IPL. I fundamentally do not believe that for a second,” Harrison had said in a statement.