The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), has confirmed that the 5th and final Test between England and India has been cancelled after a number of COVID cases in the Indian dugout. The first day of the fifth Test between India and England at Old Trafford is called off despite all the Indian players returned negative in the RT-PCR Tests after a staff member tested COVID-19 positive on Thursday. It is now emerging that the entire Test match has been called off.
According to several reports, it seems like the Indian players are reluctant to play the final Test and they have written a letter to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) expressing their concerns about playing the final Test in Manchester.
The Indian team was shaken after physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar tested COVID-19 positive on Thursday, due to which the team had to cancel their training session on the eve of the final Test match.
England vs India Manchester Test Called Off
It would be naive to speculate on what’s going on: Jos Buttler
As of Friday morning, before play was supposed to start, both the boards -the ECB and BCCI- were engaged in discussions about the future of the match. The ECB had proposed delaying the Test by two days, while some officials within the BCCI have asserted that the Test should be canceled altogether.
However, the England team looked comfortable in playing the fifth Test till yesterday as vice-captain Jos Buttler said they were expecting the game to go ahead even after their opponent camp was affected with COVID-19 cases.
“We don’t know too much about it at the moment. It would be naive to speculate on what’s going on. At the moment we’re fully expecting the game to go ahead and we’re preparing that way so fingers crossed the game will go ahead. Things are fine in our camp and we are looking forward to the game,” said Buttler in a virtual press conference on Thursday.
In the fourth Test, India head coach Ravi Shastri along with bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar tested COVID-19 positive and were kept under isolation immediately.
The ECB came up with a statement stating, “Following ongoing conversations with the BCCI, the ECB can confirm that the fifth LV= Insurance Test between England and India Men due to start today at Emirates Old Trafford, will be cancelled.
Due to fears of a further increase in the number of COVID cases inside the camp, India are regrettably unable to field a team.
We send our sincere apologies to fans and partners for this news, which we know will cause immense disappointment and inconvenience to many.
Further information will be shared in due course.”
India leads the five-match Test series 2-1 and the future of the series remains uncertain at the moment.