Salman Butt has defended India head coach Ravi Shastri and his book launch event in London, saying that the bio-bubble in England was not strict enough. Butt went on to remind that during the fourth Test at The Oval, ‘habitual intruder’ Jarvo 69 bumped into Jonny Bairstow after entering the ground.
Notably, Shastri and Kohli have been criticised for attending a book launch event attended by unmasked public. It was after this event that Shastri along with bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar tested positive for Covid-19. Later, assistant physio Yogesh Parmar also returned a positive result and the fifth and final Test was called off.
Butt has pointed out that bio-bubble protocols were not strict in England, adding that fans in the stands were also maskless and sitting next to each other without following any social distancing. The 36-year-old also recalled the incident in which ‘habitual intruder’ Jarvo 69 entered the playing field for the third time in series and bumped into England batsman Jonny Bairstow.
“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,” Butt said on his YouTube channel.
“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,” he added.
Ravi Shastri on Saturday has also defended himself and Team India.
“The whole country [United Kingdom] is open. Anything could have happened from Test One,” he told Sunday Mid-Day from London.