Ravi Shastri responds to criticism surrounding his presence at the book launch event

Shastri said entire UK is open and anything could have happened at any point during the series

Ravi Shastri - Virat Kohli
Ravi Shastri - Virat Kohli ( Image Credit: Twitter)

The Indian team in England was hit by a COVID scare as several members of the coaching staff tested positive for the virus. Head coach Ravi Shastri, Indian skipper Virat Kohli and other members of the team attended a book launch event in London, which is where the coach might have contracted the virus.

Shastri and team India was severely criticised for their leniency. The Indian head coach has now responded to the criticism and said there are no restrictions imposed by the England government and they were well within their rights to attend the event, adding that given the situation, anything could have happened at any point during the series.

“The whole country [United Kingdom] is open. Anything could have happened from Test One,” said Shastri in an interview to mid-day on Sunday.

Ravi Shastri was the first one to test positive before bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar also delivered positive results. Physiotherapist Nitin Patel was identified as close contact and was put into isolation. The four members didn’t travel with the team to Manchester for the 5th Test. On the eve of the match, assistant Physio Yogesh Parmar too tested positive, which resulted in the cancellation of the fifth Test.

Meanwhile, the result of the fifth Test is still unclear. ECB has written to ICC to decide the outcome of the series. The board wants the apex body to rule the match as forfeited so that they can claim the insurance. However, in case of a forfeit, England will be declared winners and the series will be tied at 2-2. If the ICC declares the match as abandoned due to COVID-19, England will lose 40 million pounds.

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