'Of course this is about IPL': Nasser Hussain reacts to abandonment of 5th Test in Manchester, calls situation a 'mess'

  • Former captain Nasser Hussain called the abandonment of the fifth Test between India and England a 'mess' but understood the logic behind it.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain. (Getty Images)
Former England captain Nasser Hussain. (Getty Images)
Published on Sep 10, 2021 04:11 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

Former captain Nasser Hussain called the abandonment of the fifth Test between India and England a 'mess' but understood the logic behind it. The series-deciding final Test match was called off barely two hours before its start at the Old Trafford Cricket Stadium in Manchester on Friday. It was announced that the ECB and the BCCI collectively decided to call off the game in wake of the Covid-19 fears that gripped the Indian team. 

"It's an evolving situation, it's a mess. And the only thing I can tell you is that this Test match... the final Test match is off. There won't be a Test match here at Old Trafford. This is the end of India's tour of England" Hussain said on Sky Sports.

There were several reports which stated that certain Indian cricketers had their reservations about taking part in the Test, something which Hussain completely understands.

Also Read | ‘India let English cricket down’: Vaughan cites England's SA tour cancellation after Manchester Test called off

"I have a lot of sympathy with the Indian players as they've had two physios (test positive) and the second one would have been treating all the players with some sore bodies ahead of a fifth Test match. You cannot do physiotherapy without close contact. Even those players have tested negative a couple of times now, the incubation period means they are worried that two or three days into the Test match they test positive and three or four players go down."

Hussain also feels that the decision to call off the match is linked with the fact that the IPL 2021 begins resumes shortly – September 19 – and players would not want to risk their participation in the tournament which was already impacted by Covid-19 earlier this year.

Also Read | India vs England: Covid-19 scare leads to cancellation of 5th Test in Manchester

"Initially, the BCCI was always very concerned about this Test match. They wanted everything moved to make sure the IPL is a huge financial issue hanging over the game, over Indian cricket. They have already moved it, then moved it half of it this time around. Of course, this is about the IPL, but this is about players who are thinking: ‘If I get down positive here now, today, I have to do another 10 days’,” Hussain said.

Furthermore, Hussain lauded the Indian players for taking a stand given the effect bio-bubbles and isolations tend to have on them mentally and physically.

"I have to applaud what the players showed. There will be a lot of anger and I get that but what is shows is how well the game has coped things like this. How well players have coped. These guys are going from bubble to bubble, and from quarantine to quarantine… look what’s happened to Ben Stokes. The tight bubble is no longer sustainable,” the former England captain explained.

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