Shastri’s book launch event has been termed by many as the source of Covid-19 infections in Indian camp.

Salman Butt and Indian Head Coach Ravi Shastri. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Hitting back at those who have held India head coach Ravi Shastri and the book launch event as the reason behind the Covid-19 outbreak in the Indian camp, former Pakistan opener Salman Butt has questioned England’s security management.

Notably, Shastri’s positive Covid-19 test led to a chain of results that eventually stopped at the cancellation of the Manchester. He was one amongst the four and the first to test Covid-19 positive from the visiting camp before other coaches Bharat Arun and R Sridhar also returned positive tests. Once assistant physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive on the eve of the final Test, the fate of the encounter was pushed into uncertainty.

Before the fourth Test at The Oval, Shastri attended a book launch event alongside skipper Virat Kohli, which has been seen labelled by many as the source of Covid-19 entry into the camp. However, Butt disagrees with the view and threw support behind Shastri.

“Both the teams were existing inside a high-protection zone. As far as the rest of England is concerned, we saw that nobody was wearing a mask in the crowd. Everyone was seated next to each other without any social distancing. Everything is open there and, on that front, he (Shastri) is right.” Shastri himself recently commented in his defense that the entire UK was open, and “anything could have happened” from the very first Test.

It didn’t look like a strict bio-bubble at all: Salman Butt

Butt further highlighted that the bio-bubble of the England-India series never looked like a strict one. “Even when Jarvo intruded onto the pitch and collided with [Jonny] Bairstow who batting at the time, apart from him being apprehended, nothing else was said or done. So, it didn’t look like a strict bio-bubble at all. If such a thing happened in an Asian country, England would have caused problems and other countries would have talked about it too. Because it happened in England, then it’s not a problem.

If Ravi Shastri did step out, where were the concerned authorities? Why wasn’t he told that he can’t break the bubble? There are people who are present to assure and maintain the bubble and they stop people from going out. They stop people from going too close to each other and make sure there is enough distance. Nothing of this sort was there,” added Butt.

Meanwhile, the series continues to be locked at 2-1 in India’s favour, with ICC yet to adjudicate upon the status (cancelled, abandoned or forfeited) of the Manchester Test.

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By Jade

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