Final England vs India Test Match in Manchester postponed indefinitely over COVID fears
The fifth and final Test match of the series between England and India that was supposed to start on Friday at the Old Trafford in Manchester has now been postponed indefinitely after COVID-19 outbreak in the Indian contingent.
The ECB released a statement after the decision was taken and it stated, “Following ongoing conversations with the BCCI, the ECB can confirm that the fifth Test between England and India Men due to start today at 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.”
Team India head coach Ravi Shastri and the other members of the coaching staff had tested positive while the fourth Test was going on at the Oval. The two sides still carried on as the coaches were isolated in time and the players also tested negative.
However, reports broke out about the Indian Physio testing positive for the virus just a day ahead of the match and that’s when the speculation started. Even though all the Indian players returned with negative tests again, they were concerned about their safety and the mental fatigue that comes with isolation in case they test positive again.
It is understood that they wrote a letter to the BCCI around midnight and just before the start of the play, both boards came to an understanding and called off the match.
Update: The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the match, however, the outbreak of Covid-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the Old Trafford Test.
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 10, 2021
The BCCI also released a statement later on and they have offered the ECB to reschedule the match in a separate window.
“The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the Test Match, however, the outbreak of Covid-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the Old Trafford Test Match.
“In lieu of the strong relationship between BCCI and ECB, the BCCI has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled Test match. Both the Boards will work towards finding a window to reschedule this Test match.
“The BCCI has always maintained that the safety and well-being of the players is of paramount importance and there will be no comprise on that aspect.
“The BCCI would like to thank the ECB for their co-operation and understanding in these trying times. We would like to apologise to the fans for not being able to complete an enthralling series.”