Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri have promoted and supported Test cricket – Mark Taylor

Former Australia captain Mark Taylor talked about the recent cancelation of the fifth Test between England and India in Manchester and said that if the players refused to play a Test due to COVID concerns, he would like them to do the same thing in the Indian Premier League as well, in similar circumstances.

The England and Wales Board (ECB) and BCCI are at loggerheads ever since the Old Trafford Test, which was to begin on September 10, was canceled after Indian players refused to take the field as there were multiple cases of COVID-19 in their camp, with all of their coaching and support staff in quarantine.

This has led to ECB asking ICC to call the match a forfeit to get back insurance money, while the BCCI has offered to play the Test in 2022 when India tours for ODIs and T20Is, and have said that they will play extra T20Is to offset their financial losses.

Mark Taylor, talked about the situation, as the Indian players have now reached UAE for the remaining part of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021), saying that he would not blame the players for not playing the Test, but would like for them to do the same if a similar situation happened in IPL as well.

I don’t think anyone would hold any sort of grudge against the players not wanting to play a game when they’ve got genuine concerns about COVID infection. I think now we want to see some consistency. Pulling out of a Test match is huge for the game of cricket, particularly an India series, it’s a big series.

When players make a stance against that we all understand that, we do, and we understand that health comes first. But people have to look after the health of the game. It puts pressure on the game of Test cricket in particular, and then you’ve got a game of T20, a domestic series coming up that all those players want to play. We’ve got to be careful, the players have to be careful that they send a consistent message,” Taylor said told Wide World of Sports.

He further added, “If similar things happened in the IPL I would like to see similar action taken by the players.

Taylor praised Shastri and Kohli for prioritizing Test cricket | Twitter

Taylor also praised India captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri for promoting Test cricket and putting the five-day international matches as a priority.

“(India coach) Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli (have) been great supporters and promoters of Test cricket in recent times. I think Virat has been excellent in that regard, really wanting to play Test cricket, prioritizing the game. But the worry will be how long it continues for. There’s no doubt as we all get older, and the new generations come through, this love that people like I have for Test cricket may diminish, and that’s the concern for us older generation,” Taylor pointed out.

Taylor hopes the decision to abandon the Test was not made to prioritize India’s domestic T20 tournament.