The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly has revealed Indian players were "dead scared" when they came to know that physio Yogesh Parmar had contracted COVID-19 ahead of the fifth Test against England.
The fifth Test match between England and India was cancelled in Manchester on September 10. The BCCI and ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the Test match, however, the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the game.
"The players refused to play, but you can't blame them. Physio Yogesh Parmar was such a close contact of the players. Being the only one available after Nitin Patel isolated himself, he mixed freely with the players and even performed their COVID-19 tests," Ganguly said in an interaction with the Kolkata-based Telegraph as reported by ESPN.
"He also used to give them a message. He was part of their everyday lives. The players were devastated when they came to know that he had tested positive for COVID-19.
"They feared they must have contracted the disease and were dead scared. It's not easy staying in a bubble. Of course, you have to respect their feelings," Ganguly added.
England pacer James Anderson feels for the disappointed fans of North-West England but is hopeful of playing another international game at his home ground soon.
"It's such a shame the summer of international cricket ended this way. I'm gutted for everyone at Lancashire cricket, for the fans who paid for tickets/trains/hotels, for both sets of supporters that wanted to see the finish this series deserved," Anderson said in his Instagram post.
"I hope it will be played again at some point, and I hope I will get to play another international game at my home ground that I love so much," he added.
The BCCI has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled fifth Test match, which was scheduled to be played at Manchester.