Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly will be heading to England to discuss the rescheduling of the recently canceled Manchester Test between England and India. He will meet with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) representatives on September 22.
The fifth and final Test was scheduled to be played from September 10-14. However, an outbreak of Covid-19 cases in the Indian camp left Virat Kohli and co. in a precarious position. They were in close contact with the junior physiotherapist, Yogesh Parmar, and so decided against playing the last Test.
For now, the match stands canceled but BCCI and ECB had kept the possibility of a rescheduling alive. Sourav Ganguly will travel to the UK where he will discuss the way forward with the ECB members and the official broadcasters. Both sides stand to lose a huge amount of money if both the parties can’t mutually decide on a date for the fifth Test.
The two boards had earlier stated that they will strive to find an appropriate window to hold the solitary Test match. The BCCI also assured that the safety of the players takes the highest precedence and that is the primary reason for the match to be canceled.
“The BCCI has always maintained that the safety and well-being of the players is of paramount importance and there will be no compromise on that aspect. The BCCI would like to thank the ECB for their co-operation and understanding in these trying times.” a media release from the apex board said.
“Playing at this level, week after week is difficult” – ECB chief Tom Harrison
ECB chief executive Tom Harrison was understanding of the situation the players were in. He claimed that the Indians have been great tourists. Harrison implied that the moment everyone’s safety is at risk, the players tend to tense up, especially during a long tour.
“Playing at this level, week after week is difficult. Even if we feel we are emerging from the pandemic, life is different for the players. When Covid creeps into an environment, it can accelerate very quickly. Hopefully, we can get this Test on some other time, but it won’t be the same as it having the conclusion after four brilliant matches,” Harrison said.
Team India will take a 10-day break before heading to UAE for the resumption of the second phase of the IPL 2021 on September 19. Immediately following the IPL will be the T20 World Cup at the same venue.