‘Indian players were not wearing mask at Ravi Shastri book launch’

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File photo of Ravi Shastri.

As severe criticism is meted out to Team India and coach Ravi Shastri, who along with other coaching staff members tested COVID-19 positive after a book launch in London, former Indian cricketer Dilip Doshi has claimed members of the Indian team attended the event without masks.

While BCCI has already confirmed that players never took any permission from the board to attend the event, former spinner Doshi said players were present at the event without masks but left within 5-10 minutes after seeing the huge crowd.

“I was present at the book launch. A lot of dignitaries, and Team India was present there for a short while and none of them was wearing a mask,” the 73-year-old retired Test cricketer was quoted as saying by India Ahead.

Apart from Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar and physiotherapist Nitin Patel tested Covid-19 positive after their RT-PCR confirmed the infection during the Oval Test.

Shastri later maintained that he can’t be blamed for the COVID-19 cases in the team as the entire UK was open during the period. Doshi agreed with Shastri on the point but added that despite low restrictions in the European nation, wearing  a mask is for one’s own safety.

“Whether the society has to wear a mask, whether it is mandatory or not is decided by the politicians. Prime Minister Boris Johnson decided that England was safe enough because of the double vaccinated program and a lot of people have been vaccinated here therefore immunity is apparently high and so it was then the society is open to all avenues and they did that.

“So, there are two ways of looking at it. That’s one aspect of life but as a touring team when you are here on a mission then I would expect that every time the Indian team or the Indian squad are offering themselves in public where there is little more crowd, if I were then I would definitely be wearing a mask, not because I don’t trust others but I am barring myself from getting infected,” he said.


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