IND VS ENG : Ravi Shastri upset on being blamed for cancellation of 5th, gives blunt reply to accusations

Indian team Coach Ravi Shastri always plays with straight bat. When the entire English media, England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and even some officials in own board BCCI has blamed him for the Covid-19 situation in the Indian team – Shastri again has played with straight bat giving blunt reply on the accusations.

“The whole country [United Kingdom] is open. Anything could have happened from Test One.” – declared Indian coach.

Indian head coach Ravi Shastri has defended his attendance at a book launch despite the veteran testing positive for coronavirus in the aftermath of the event. Shastri and four other staff members tested positive for COVID-19 and missed the Oval Test, while the fifth test at Manchester was called off due to the outbreak. Shastri and Co were criticised for the breach but the Indian head coach paid no heed to those claims.

In an exclusive chat with Mid-day, Ravi Shastri was quizzed regarding the issue surrounding his book launch ‘Star Gazing: The Players in My Life in London’ event.

“No permission was sought either from the president (Sourav Ganguly) or from the secretary (Jay Shah). Perhaps they might have thought that since health safety rules have been relaxed in the UK, they didn’t need permission,” a senior BCCI official, privy to the developments, told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

To this Shastri just replied – “The whole country [United Kingdom] is open. Anything could have happened from Test One.” – declared Indian coach.

Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar and physiotherapist Nitin Patel were placed in isolation from Day Four of the fourth Test at The Oval, where India won by 157 runs. The situation escalated further after assistant physio Yogesh Parmar also tested positive on the eve of the Manchester Test with BCCI and ECB subsequently deciding to call off the Test.

IND vs ENG: While the fifth Test was cancelled, Shastri believes it was a summer to remember for the Indian team after wins in Australia and England.

He said, “It’s been the best summer of cricket England has seen in a long time certainly from an Indian cricket team. It’s Covid times, awesome summer though. The boys were fantastic on either side of the Thames. No team played in Covid times like this Indian team did in Australia and England. Just ask the experts here. Nothing has given me more job satisfaction in the game and I have been around for a bit as you would know.”