Former Indian batsman VVS Laxman is hopeful that International Cricket Council awards the series 2-1 to India after the fifth Test was called off due to Covid-19 apprehension in the Indian camp.
ECB has written to the ICC to decide the fate of the fifth Test match.
If the ICC rules the Test as abandoned, then India will win the series 2-1 but if England gets a forfeiture as per the Dispute Resolution Committee ruling, it will be a 2-2 verdict and the host nation can also claim insurance.
India was leading the series 2-1 and had done well before the fifth Test was cancelled. The Indian team had last won a Test series in England back in 2007 when Rahul Dravid led the team to a 1-0 victory.
VVS Laxman feels things drastically changed after India’s junior physio Yogesh Parmar was tested positive for Covid-19 and there were doubts in the minds of the Indian players, who were concerned about their medical safety.
Laxman wrote for TOI, “It was an abrupt, somewhat disappointing end to what had been a cracking series but given the circumstances in which the final Test at Old Trafford was cancelled, it’s unfair to point fingers or play the blame game. More than a year and a half since the pandemic, the world is still far from a safe place. It might be tempting for many to see the Indian team as the villain of the piece, but I can say from our IPL experiences this summer that once any member of the team that you have been in close contact with tests positive, it is impossible not to be apprehensive, indeed fearful.”
“To take the field in that mental state is far from ideal. So is the potential risk of endangering others on the park, be it your teammates, the officials or the opponents. Against that backdrop, I think the cancelation of the Test was the right call, though I feel deeply for the fans who had invested so much time, money, and emotion in the contest. I hope the ICC sees the situation for what it is and awards the series 2-1 to India, particularly with the BCCI has offered to play a Test during their white-ball tour of England next year.”
Laxman highlighted that bubble fatigue could be one of the factors but there can’t be any compromise on the safety of the players.
“What this episode reiterates is that we must not let our guard down. If that means having to stay in bubbles, even if the host country doesn’t demand it, so be it. It might be tough on players, agreed, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. I understand bubble fatigue can become a factor, but there can’t be any compromise on safety.”
The Indian players will now be seen in action in the upcoming IPL. On the other hand, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said the Indian team wants the series to be completed.