BCCI President Sourav Ganguly on Monday (September 13) acknowledged that the ECB’s finances have taken a hit with the cancellation of the fifth Test between India and England at Old Trafford.
India’s assistant physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive for COVID-19 on the eve of the fifth Test, which left the Indian players anxious. Despite all of them testing negative, Virat Kohli and his men were reluctant to take the field and the match was eventually called off with the tourists leading the series 2-1 after four Tests.
In an interaction with the Kolkata-based Telegraph, Ganguly expressed his solidarity with the ECB.
"The Old Trafford Test has been cancelled. They (ECB) have incurred a lot of losses and it's not going to be easy on [them]," the BCCI chief said.
After the match was called off, the Indian board, in its statement, talked about an offer made to reschedule the Old Trafford Test. However, ECB CEO Tom Harrison publicly rejected it, saying that the proposed rescheduling would be a one-off game rather than a decider for the series.
Ganguly also clarified that whenever a one-off Test between England and India is scheduled, it won’t be considered part of the series that ended prematurely.
"Let things settle down a bit, then we can discuss and decide. Whenever it's held next year, it should be a one-off match since it cannot be a continuation of the series any more," he added.
Following the cancellation of the fifth Test, India skipper Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri have come under the scanner for attending a book launch in London ahead of the fourth Test.
Shastri's book, titled 'Stargazing: The Players in My Life', had a launch event on August 31, two days before the start of the Oval Test.
While Ganguly revealed that "No permission was sought," by Shastri or anyone else to take part in the public event, he also defended them saying it is humanly impossible to be confined in a room day in day out.
"How long can you stay confined to your hotel rooms? Can you stay locked at your home day in and day out? You can't be restricted to a life where you go from the hotel to the ground and return to the hotel. This is humanly not possible," Ganguly said.
"You can't stay in a bubble forever. Life has to open up. These players and support staff have been in a bubble for more than a year now. It's no joke. It's very demanding physically and mentally. They are human beings and it's unfortunate. From the UK, the players are already in another bubble in the UAE [for the IPL]. Another round of quarantine, another bubble.… Then there will be the bubble for the T20 World Cup. It's not easy."