Indian head coach Ravi Shastri said he did not regret organizing the launch of the book, which was widely seen as the reason for a COVID-19 outbreak that forced the cancellation of the fifth test against England to Manchester.
Shastri, field coach R Sridhar, bowling coach Bharath Arun and physio Nitin Patel were found infected during the oval test and when junior physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive before the fifth test in Manchester , the match was controversially called off with India at the top of the series. 2-1.
There were reports of people not wearing masks during the event.
“I have absolutely no regrets because the people I met at this reception were fabulous. And it was good for the boys to go out and meet different people rather than constantly being in their rooms,” Shastri said in an interview with ‘The Guardian’.
“On the Oval Test, you used to climb stairs used by 5,000 people. So point your finger at a book launch?” He asked.
“… but I wasn’t worried because the incubation probably takes weeks. There were around 250 people there and no one got COVID from this holiday.”
Speaking about his time in isolation, Shastri said: “It was funny because during my 10 days I had no symptoms other than a little sore throat. I never had a temperature and my level. oxygen was 99% all the time.
“I took no medication during the 10 days of my isolation, not a single paracetamol. I say to the guys, ‘Once you get a double bite, it’s bloody flu for 10 days. all’. “
The book launch gained even more attention after the fifth test was canceled, with the outcome of the series not yet decided.
When asked if he became the scapegoat as a result of the abandoned test, Shastri said the truth was different.
“I didn’t get it when my book launched because it was 31 (August) and I tested positive on September 3. It can’t happen in three days. I think I have it. had in Leeds. England opened on July 19th and suddenly the hotels were back, the elevators were back. No restrictions. “
Shastri said he was not involved in the decision not to play the Manchester test as he isolated himself in London. He also did not discuss the matter with the players.
“No. I didn’t know who had it. I didn’t know that (the junior physiotherapist) suddenly had it and tested positive. He physically treated five or six players. I think that’s it. that the problem started We knew the incubation period meant someone could get it in the middle (of the test).
“A lot of the players had their families there. So it became a situation where you don’t know what that player is thinking about. He has a young kid, you know, he has to be thinking about them. I would say so, touchy.
Shastri is also confident that the BCCI and the ECB will settle the outcome of the series amicably.
“The ECB has been amazing and their relationship with Indian cricket is great. People talk about money, but I can guarantee that the ECB will pay the full amount with interest.
“I don’t know if this is an independent test next year or if they give them two more T20 games, but the ECB is not going to lose a dime because of the relationship that exists. In 2008, when we had the (terrorist) explosion in Mumbai, England, came back and played the test. We don’t forget that. “
Bilateral T20s should be reduced, watch football:
Shastri is also convinced that the bilateral T20 series should be scaled back to facilitate the relentless international timeline.
“I would like to see less and less two-sided T20 cricket. Watch football. You have the Premier League, the Spanish League, the Italian League, the German League. They all meet (for the Champions League). There is little bilateral. football (friendly) now.
“National teams only play for the World Cup or World Cup qualifiers (and other major tournaments like the European Championships, Copa America and Africa Cup of Nations).”
He said skipper Virat Kohli and other Indian players also shared his point of view on the matter.
“They all believe the same thing. There is enough franchise in cricket. It works. But what good is the bilateral? In my seven years with this Indian team, I can’t remember a single ball game. white If you win a World Cup final you will remember it and it is the only thing I have left as a coach.
“I don’t remember a single game (white ball). Practice matches? I remember every ball. Everything. But the volume is too big. We beat Australia 3-0 in the series T20. We beat New Zealand 5-0 in New Zealand. Who cares? But beating Australia in two rounds of tests in Australia? Winning tests in England? I remember that. “
Cricket grounds like to organize white ball matches because it generates more income, but Shastri believes that a good balance can be maintained.
“The money is important because it can be invested in the grassroots. The best players still want to play test match cricket but, except England and Australia, very few countries win. money thanks to that.
“In India it is starting to pick up speed because of the way India is playing. We are aiming for the win because the cricket test is the ultimate,” Shastri added.
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