Ravi Shastri has swept aside criticism of him for an event organised for the launch of his book titled Star Gazing: The Players in My Life in London that followed multiple members of Indian cricket team’s support staff testing positive for the coronavirus. It eventually culminated in the fifth and final Test of the five-match series between India and England being cancelled.
Shastri himself was the first to test positive for the virus while India bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar and physiotherapist Dr Nitin Patel had to isolate for being his close contacts from the fourth day of the fourth Test played at The Oval.
“The whole country [United Kingdom] is open. Anything could have happened from Test One,” Shastri told Mid-day in an interview.
India were leading the series 2-1 with Manchester’s Old Trafford set to host the finale. However, a couple of hours before the toss, separate media statements from BCCI and ECB said the contest has been cancelled due to covid outbreak in Indian camp.
The 59-year-old Shastri isn’t worries about the controversy and instead chose to highlight Indian cricket team’s performance in England.
“It’s been the best summer of cricket England has seen in a long time certainly from an Indian cricket team. It’s Covid times, awesome summer though. The boys were fantastic either side of the Thames,” Shastri said.
He praised India for churning out memorable performances in the restrictive covid environment.
“No team played in Covid times like this Indian team did in Australia and England. Just ask the experts here. Nothing has given me more job satisfaction in the game and I have been around for a bit as you would know,” Shastri said.
Meanwhile, the India cricketers have started leaving UK for the UAE where they will be taking part in the second leg of IPL 2021.