A more relaxed bubble in UK resulted in Covid getting into India camp: Hussain

Former England skipper Nasser Hussain has said that the Indian cricketers had “enjoyed a more relaxed bubble here in the UK” and that ultimately resulted in Covid getting into the tourists’ camp.

The fifth and final Test between India and England, that was scheduled to begin on Friday, was cancelled due to the emergence of a Covid-19 case in the Indian camp. Assistant physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar tested positive a few days after head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar had tested positive.

India coaches and players had reportedly attend a book launch at a London hotel outside their bubble, as revealed by Sportsmail, two days before the fourth Test at The Oval,” the Daily Mail had reported.

“They 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,” said Hussain in his column for Daily Mail.

The former skipper added that he didn’t want to blame the Indian cricketers for deciding not to play the fifth Test as life inside the bio-bubble is very tough.

“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.

“Those India players, who have spent as much time living life in a bubble as the England players this year, would have feared the consequences of testing positive themselves and remaining locked away again.”

Hussain said that when the news of the assistant physiotherapist testing positive for Covid-19 emerged, it was the proverbial last straw for the Indian players and they became jittery.

“When something like this hits it feels like the final straw and you develop a get-me-out-of-here mentality. As for the theory that India have pulled out because they are 2-1 up? I just don’t buy it. The theory that India pulled out of the Test because they were 2-1 up in the series is nonsense. Virat Kohli and his team want to create history, as they did when they won in Australia earlier this year. And to have done it properly. They did not want to win by default.”

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