The fifth and the final test match between India and England, scheduled to begin on Friday at Old Trafford, has been cancelled two hours before the toss.
The two days long drama ended few hours before the toss on Friday when the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed in a statement that India is not ready to take the field following a Covid-19 case in the tourists camp.
The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of talk to conduct the match, however, the Covid-19 outbreak in the Indian team forced the decision of calling off the Old Trafford Test.
There was uncertainty regarding the final Test match after another member of Team India’s support staff tested positive for Covid on Thursday. His Covid positive report led to concerns that the infection could spread during the match which was cancelled a couple of hours before the toss.
The players got into a huddle and couldn’t be convinced by the BCCI to play the game. However, all Indian players had tested Covid negative in RT-PCR reports on Thursday.
The initial statement issued by the ECB categorically mentioned the word forfeit but that was later omitted from a revised media release. In a revised statement, the ECB said India is regrettably unable to field a team due to fears of a further increase in the number of Covid cases in the camp.
As of now, India are 2-1 ahead and have not been officially declared winners simply because there could be a chance of the fifth Test being played during the window in July next year when the team visits for a six-match white-ball series.
India were leading the five-match series 2-1 after a thumping victory at The Oval where the visitors won the match by 157 runs.
India head coach Ravi Shastri had tested positive during the fourth test at The Oval and has since been isolating with bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar and physio Nitin Patel.
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