'India coaches, players were irresponsible to attend book launch'

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New Delhi, Sep 10 (IANS) The fifth Test between England and India will begin as scheduled at Old Trafford on Friday with the visitors returning negative COVID-19 tests after a member of their support staff tested positive.

However, it seems that the BCCI and some sections of the English media are not happy with Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli’s “irresponsible” bio-bubble breach in London.

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“Thankfully the nightmare scenario was avoided on Thursday night when it emerged all the players’ PCR tests had come back negative. But it is a narrow escape for the game and clearly India coaches and players were irresponsible to attend a book launch at a London hotel outside their bubble, as revealed by Sportsmail, two days before the fourth Test at the Oval,” the Daily Mail reported.

Shastri tested positive during the fourth Test at The Oval and has been in isolation since, along with bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar and physio Nitin Patel.

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On Thursday, India’s practice session before the final Test was cancelled after an Indian cricket board official confirmed that second physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar had tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Wednesday.

But later it was reported that the match would go ahead after the England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed there were no further positive cases in the Indian camp.

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Speaking to IANS, a BCCI official said that it all started with “one breach”. “One mistake can make things difficult for everybody. The coach and the captain went out for a book launch and here we are seeing Covid cases within the team. This is scary,” the official added.

English media at that time had slammed the Indian staff for not taking clearance from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

“Visiting crew did not acquire clearance from the ECB to attend the e-book launch,” it was stated.

–IANS

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