'They broke protocol. Few of them went shopping': Gough 'annoyed' with 5th Test abandonment, calls it 'out of order'
- Gough pointed out that while he fully gets the tedious bubble life of players and their mental well-being, the fact that the Indian team attended coach Ravi Shastri before the Oval Test and some of them went shopping in Manchester did not sit well with him.
Former fast bowler Darren Gough was pretty miffed with the cancellation of the fifth Test between India and England in Manchester. Gough pointed out that while he fully gets the tedious bubble life of players and their mental well-being, the fact that the Indian team attended coach Ravi Shastri before the Oval Test, some of them went shopping in Manchester and ultimately the fact that fans got robbed of an exciting Test match is what doesn't sit well with him.
"I didn't see it coming. Not at all. I get the bubble life, I get the mental health and I get all that 100 percent, but what after the Oval Test? They broke the protocol, went to the book launch. They all jumped on public transport from London to Manchester. Few of them went out shopping before the Test match," Gough told Brendon Julian and Glenn McGrath on Fox Cricket.
The series-deciding Test scheduled to be played from September 10 at the Old Trafford Cricket Stadium in Manchester got called off hours before its start after the Indian players refused to take the field owing to Covid-19 fears. Assistant physio Yogesh Parmar had tested positive a day before the Test and while the Indian players had returned negative results, they were 'scared to death' as BCCI president Sourav Ganguly later pointed out.
Ganguly also refused that the decision to sit out the fifth Test had anything to do with Indian players' participation in the IPL 2021, whose UAE-leg resumes from Sunday. However, Gough is certain the IPL had a role to play in the abandonment, and while he explained there's nothing wrong in it, the fact that fans did not get to see the Test match was a bummer.
"What annoyed me about it was to cancel a Test match when people had already gone to watch the game. It was out of order. We all know what it was about. The IPL is a great tournament. Same as the other tournaments around the world like the PSL and Big Bash. The talk about bubble life and being stuck in once place and one time - they've got to divide out. They are doing 6-7 days of quarantine and then they are in the bubble life of the IPL for another 4 weeks. Then they've got the World Cup and then New Zealand come in," Gough added.
"So I just think it was a case of getting out of there. They wanted to play the IPL from the very start. I have no problem with that but it's the fans that for me are the ones again who get done."