Head coach Ravi Shastri was the first member of India’s backroom staff to test positive for coronavirus, and the outbreak which caused the postponement of the fifth Test vs England has been linked to a launch party for his new book – something Shastri strongly refutes.
The launch party was held in London a few days before Shastri tested positive for Covid during the fourth Test between England and India at The Oval.
Two other members of staff also tested positive during that game, before a fourth contracted the virus on the eve of the Old Trafford Test, causing it to be called off.
Despite all members of India’s playing squad testing negative, the game was scrapped “due to fears of a further increase in the number of COVID cases inside the camp”.
Alex Davidson/Getty Images)
According to a report from the Daily Telegraph, Shastri is being referred to as ‘patient X’ after his public book launch.
All of India’s players were also in attendance at the event, where there was ‘at least some close contact between public and players’.
However, Shastri has defended the launch party, telling the Guardian : “I have absolutely no regrets because the people I met at that function were fabulous.
“And it was good for the boys to get out and meet different people rather than constantly being in their rooms.
“At the Oval Test, you were climbing stairs used by 5,000 people. So to point a finger at a book launch?”
Shastri instead believes that he caught the virus during the third Test at Headingley, adding: “I wasn’t worried because incubation probably takes weeks.
Should the fifth and final Test have been cancelled? Let us know in the comments section.
Stu Forster/Getty Images)
“There were about 250 people there and no-one got Covid from that party. I’ve not got it at my book launch because it was on the 31st [of August] and I tested positive on 3 September.
“It can’t happen in three days. I think I got it in Leeds. England opened up on 19 July and suddenly the hotels were back, lifts were back. No restrictions.”