Ganguly says "no permission was sought" for India coach Shastri’s book launch

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has admitted that "no permission was sought" for the controversial launch party of India head coach Ravi Shastri 's new book, which has been linked to the coronavirus outbreak among their backroom staff.

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".

According to a report from the Daily Telegraph, Shastri is being referred to as 'patient X' after his public book launch, which took place with 150 members of the public.

All of India's players were also in attendance at the event, where there was 'at least some close contact between public and players'.

Speaking to Indian outlet Telegraph, Ganguly admitted that "no permission was sought" by Shastri or anybody else to attend the event but he did defend all involved.

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He said: "How long can you stay confined to your hotel rooms? Can you stay locked at your home day in and day out?

"You can't be restricted to a life where you go from the hotel to the ground and return to the hotel. This is humanly not possible.

"You can't stay in a bubble forever. Life has to open up.

"These players and support staff have been in a bubble for more than a year now. It's no joke. It's very demanding physically and mentally. They are human beings and it's unfortunate.

"From the UK, the players are already in another bubble in the UAE [for the IPL]. Another round of quarantine, another bubble.… Then there will be the bubble for the T20 World Cup. It's not easy."

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