ENG v IND 2021: They were rightly apprehensive – Inzamam-ul-Haq backs India’s decision not to play 5th Test

With many targeting the Indian cricket team over the cancellation of the fifth and final Test against England, former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has come out in support of the tourists and backed their decision not to play in Manchester due to the COVID-19 outbreak scare.

The final Test at Old Trafford, Manchester was called off on Friday (September 10) after the number of COVID-19 cases was found in the Indian camp, as the tourists denied fielding the team fearing catching the Coronavirus after their assistant physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar tested positive.

The five-match Test series was already locked at 2-1 in India’s favor, and all the players returned negative in their RT-PCR tests for COVID-19, but they had shared the dressing room with Parmar and other coaches who contracted with the deadly virus, eventually deciding not to play the final Test against England.

While many linked the cancellation of the final Test with players’ longing of playing in the IPL 2021, Inzamam said India made the right reason, as the COVID-19 could spread to many other players and support staff and mainly the symptoms begin to appear after two to three days.

Inzamam said on his YouTube channel: “It is unfortunate that the fifth Test between India and England couldn’t go ahead due to Covid. It was a great series but to be fair to India, they were playing the fourth Test as well without their coach and support staff. But they showed great determination on the field.”

He added, “Now, even their physio who was training them in recent days has tested positive. The players were rightly apprehensive since the physio was sharing the dressing room with them and training them. Also, the players may have tested negative but often Covid symptoms start showing after 2-3 days.”

On the role and importance of a physio in Test cricket, the former Pakistan captain noted: “It is very difficult to play without the support staff. When you are injured or are facing a niggle, you need a trainer or physio to help you recover and make you match-fit.”

Inzamam signed off by saying, “People must be wondering why India pulled out despite all their players being fit. The physios and trainers are very important. After a day’s play in a Test match ends, the physio’s job begins. He needs to treat the players and keep them in shape for the upcoming day’s play. So it would be wrong to say that India pulled out despite their players having tested negative.”