Team India head coach Ravi Shastri has received quite some flak after his COVID-19 diagnosis along with as many as 4 people from India’s support staff who tested positive for the virus. This led to the fifth Test between India and England getting canceled.
The former Pakistan cricketer Salman Butt was not happy with this criticism towards Shastri as there were no COVID-19 protocols being followed in the UK with the country being completely open.
“Both the teams were existing inside a high-protection zone. As far as the rest of England is concerned, we saw that nobody was wearing a mask in the crowd. Everyone was seated next to each other without any social distancing. Everything is open there and, on that front, he (Shastri) is right,” Butt said.
The Test series between India and England was not being played under a strict bio-bubble and saw the pitch invader ‘Jarvo’ entering the ground three times in as many Test matches. The left-hand batsman cited Jarvo’s example to blame England for not putting strict protocols in place.
“Even when Jarvo intruded onto the pitch and collided with [Jonny] Bairstow who batting at the time, apart from him being apprehended, nothing else was said or done. So, it didn’t look like a strict bio-bubble at all,” the 36-year-old said.
“If such a thing happened in an Asian country, England would have caused problems and other countries would have talked about it too. Because it happened in England, then it’s not a problem.
If Ravi Shastri did step out, where were the concerned authorities? Why wasn’t he told that he can’t break the bubble? There are people who are present to assure and maintain the bubble and they stop people from going out. They stop people from going too close to each other and make sure there is enough distance. Nothing of this sort was there,” Butt added.
India was leading the five-match Test series 2-1 with a historic win in the 4th Test at The Oval in London and was scheduled to play the fifth and final Test at Old Trafford in Manchester which was canceled hours before the toss.