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Thursday, October 28, 2021

ENG vs IND: Nasser Hussain reveals how COVID-19 got into the Indian camp

Former England skipper Nasser Hussain has revealed the real reason that led to all the mess ahead of the now-cancelled fifth and final Test between India and England. Hussain believed that a relaxed bubble given to players has resulted in Indian staff members getting positive for novel coronavirus.

Notably, few media reports claimed that India coaches and players had attended a book launch at a London hotel outside their bubble two days before the fourth Test held at the Kennington Oval. Team India had to play the Oval Test without their Head Coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar and physiotherapist Nitin Patel as they were put in isolation.

Then ahead of the fifth Test, which was scheduled to begin on Friday at Old Trafford in Manchester, assistant physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar also tested positive, which eventually led to the cancellation of the Manchester Test.

“They (India) have enjoyed a more relaxed bubble here in the UK, and ultimately that is how Covid has got into the camp — but it is too easy for us to preach to the India team to play the game on the back of a round of negative PCR tests and double vaccinations,” wrote Hussain in his column for Daily Mail.

Hussain mentioned that he didn’t want to blame the Indian cricketers for not playing the fifth Test as life inside the bio-bubble is very tough. The former international reckoned the Indian players became restless after their physio and his assistant tested positive because physios are close to every player.

“I don’t blame the players (for not playing the fifth Test) because I experienced similar environments last summer. If someone had asked me to do a few extra days last September, I would have shown resistance, and I was just doing a few weeks here and there.”

“Yes, these players are handsomely paid, but that does not make the hotel isolation any easier. And so, when India’s physio and his assistant tested positive, India got fidgety. Physios are the closest of close contacts, and by the end of a major series, it is not just the fast bowlers being treated regularly,” Hussain added further.

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