Ravi Shastri term as Team India coach ended with the Men in Blue failing to qualify for the semi-final of the ongoing T20 World Cup. During the time at the helm, Ravi Shastri had made the Virat Kohli lead Indian cricket team the team to beat around the world, however, the on-field success was overshadowed by the off-field controversies especially during the England tour where Ravi Shastri suffered from COVID-19. While there were reports about him suffering from COVID after attending the book launch the former Team India coach while speaking exclusively to Republic TV opened up about the entire episode.
During the interview, Ravi Shastri said, "First of all, Boris Johnson opened England on July 19. There was no bubble the country was open. We went to Leeds we stayed in a hotel where there was entire public on the floor. We used the same lifts as the people staying in a hotel. we came to London it's all open you can go where you want to go certain places which I cannot mention how we were told not to go by the anti-corruption unit or the security or whatever, but otherwise, everything was open".
He further said, "In that book launch, I was the only guy who got COVID that's what the media thinks but I think I got that in Leeds. Because of the incubation period which took place for 3/4 days then 7/8 days whatever it takes I got it wrong on the 3rd or 4th and my book launch was on the 31st. It was a beautiful book launch attended by 200-300 people very distinguished guests from all sections of society and I know that I am the only guy who got it because I had friends who came there they were all fine".
Following the book launch, the Indian team travelled to Oval to face England in the 4th Test which they won by 157 runs. However, Ravi Shastri said that they were using the same lift and staircase which was used by fans attending the match. He said," when we were playing the test in Oval after that now this is very important. We were using the staircase used by public 5000 people were sitting in the stand and going up and down the stairs or through the lifts there were spectators going up and down so if someone says that's a bubble i will say take a walk.
He further said, " COVID as you know can come from anywhere and then our physio got it 8-10 days later on his way to Manchester. and from where got it from again you are talking of it is easy to say book launch but where did he get it from it could be anywhere in the park and so many people have got it and will get it in the future people will get it in spite of the bubble let me assure you that so its a question of letting people know what is the truth so don't create stories saying there was a bubble there was no bubble. There was no explanation needed since these are facts".
Recently Ravi Shastri during India's final match of the T20 World Cup opened up on BCCI appointing Rahul Dravid as his successor. While speaking during the toss of India vs Namibia, Shastri had said “In Rahul Dravid, they've got a guy who has inherited a great team and I think with his experience, he can only raise the bar in time to come. There are still players here who will play for another 3-4 years which is very important. It is not a team in transition and that'll make the biggest difference”.