India legend Sunil Gavaskar has praised the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for their offer of rescheduling the now-cancelled fifth Test between England and India. Gavaskar said India should never forget England’s gesture of flying back to United Kingdom (UK) midway after Mumbai had faced terror attacks on November 26 in 2008.
The fifth and final Test between England and India was scheduled to take place at Old Trafford in Manchester but was called off hours before its start on Friday (September 10) after a COVID-19 outbreak in the visiting team’s camp.
Both the BCCI and England Cricket Board (ECB) later announced that the match would be rescheduled at a later date as a one-off game.
“Yes, I think that (rescheduling the cancelled Test) would be the correct thing to do. Look, we, in India, should never forget what the England team did in 2008 after the horrific attack, the 26/11. They came back,” Gavaskar told Sony Sports.
England and India were playing an ODI in Cuttack on November 26 when terrorists attacked Mumbai. This led up to the cancellation of the last two ODIs of the seven-match series. The English team went back home immediately but later returned for the two-Test series, in which the hosts won 1-0.
The Mumbaikar recalled the incident and said that the then England skipper Kevin Pietersen played an instrumental role in England’s decision to return back.
“Never forget that Kevin Pietersen led the team, and he was the main man. If KP had said, no, I don’t want to go, that would have been the end of the matter. It was because KP was willing to go, and he convinced the others, the team came, and we had that fantastic Test match in Chennai where India chased 380 to win on the last day,” the 72-year-old added.
Gavaskar termed BCCI’s offer of rescheduling the Test as ‘fantastic news’, mentioning that the cancelled Test can be held next year after the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“It’s absolutely apt that the BCCI now says, right next year, we are still coming to England. I think the IPL will finish in early June. So there is enough time for them to go a few days early. This is fantastic news coming that the BCCI will make up for it. This is exactly what the relations between boards should be,” Gavaskar added further.