Former England captain Michael Vaughan said the real reasons behind the cancellation of the fifth and final Test between England and India in Manchester was “money” and the upcoming second edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021), resuming on September 19 in the UAE.
The Manchester Test was called off after the India failed to field the team fearing further spread of the COVID-19 after their assistant physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive for the deadly virus following their head coach, bowling coach, and fielding coach contracting the Coronavirus.
Reacting to the same, the commentator said the players were scared of catching COVID-19 and missing the IPL 2021 in the UAE – which led to the cancellation of the final Test between England and India.
Vaughan wrote in his column for The Telegraph: “Let’s be honest, this is all about money and the IPL. The Test has been canceled because players were petrified of catching Covid and missing the IPL.”
The former skipper further added, “In a week or so we will be watching the IPL and the players will be running around smiling and happy. But they should have trusted the PCR tests. We know a lot about this virus now. We know how to manage and handle it better. Players are double vaccinated and bio-security can be raised very quickly.”
However, the Englishman was surprised how India found it tough to find 11 players for the final Test against England, saying it is completely disrespectful towards the fans, as the Test series was brilliantly poised and needed to be completed for the pride of the game.
Vaughan signed off by saying, “The game of cricket needed this Test match. The series was brilliantly poised. It just does not sit comfortably that a Test match can be canceled 90 minutes before the toss. It is completely disrespectful towards the paying public.”
Meanwhile, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) CEO Tom Harrison said they tried their best to avoid canceling the final Test in Manchester while apologizing for all the inconvenience.
Harrison said in an official statement: “A huge amount has happened over the last 24 hours, and from one cricket lover to another, I want to say how sorry I am for all the inconvenience caused by the cancellation of this Test match. We were all looking forward to what promised to be the culmination of this brilliant Test Series, and I’m so disappointed at not being able to get the match played.”
He concluded, “I have heard many stories today of people who planned for months or saved hard during this pandemic to have a special day out with friends and family. To not see that happen is hard to take. Today’s news will have been so frustrating, especially given the short notice. Please know that we worked through the night to find solutions and avoid this outcome.”