ENG v IND 2021: Stuart Broad sympathizes with Indian cricketers; recalls his time in bio-bubble on India tour

England pace legend Stuart Broad said that he fully sympathizes with the Indian cricket team pulling out of the fifth Test of their recent series against England which was to be played in Manchester on September 10th.

Indian team refused to play the fifth Test after their support and coaching staff tested positive for COVID-19. Though the Indian players tested negative in the RT-PCR tests, they refused to take the field citing concerns of someone testing positive during the Test match.

After much deliberation, India called off the Test match much to ECB’s anger and dismay. While former England cricketers and pundits criticized India for not playing the Test causing ECB considerable financial damage, Stuart Broad said that he understood the plight of Indian players.

He recalled his own experience of living in bio-bubble on England’s tour of England early this year.

Stuart Broad | Getty

We have seen the pressures of being away from home for a long period of time most recently with India returning zero positive Covid tests within their group but still feeling anxious enough to not play a Test match. I get that.

I am certainly not going to preach that what they did was wrong because I remember how I felt for the last Test match in Ahmedabad (when England toured India), having been locked away for 10 weeks in hotel rooms. We’d not seen other human beings, been kept away from our families, had slow Wi-Fi, and couldn’t even stream Netflix,” Broad wrote in his column for The Mail on Sunday.

By the end of it we were worn down and the thought of then potentially catching the virus during those final few days of the tour — and having to spend another fortnight locked away — made me feel quite unstable,” added Broad.

Many former England cricketers were angry with Indian cricketers putting the second phase of IPL 2021 before the Manchester Test match. However, Broad said that he could understand the Indian cricketers’ anxiety “so close to the flights out”.

I know Michael Vaughan was quite vociferous, saying India’s decision was all about the IPL riches –and I am not saying it didn’t play its part — but I can understand them panicking so close to their flights out,” he wrote.