The Board of Control for Cricket in India and the England and Wales Cricket Board on Friday have agreed to cancel the fifth and final Test between England and India. The call to cancel the match was taken hours before the scheduled start at the Old Trafford. Now, the two cricket boards have agreed to find an alternate window to play the match. The match thus remain suspended indefinitely.
The BCCI, amidst accusations of putting the Indian Premier League above the Test, has stated the Test will be rescheduled. The two boards will work on the new dates.
The match was cancelled after the Team India physiotherapist was reported Covid-19 positive shortly after the team’s practice session on Wednesday.
“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,” BCCI has stated in a Press release.
“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.” India leads the five-match series 2-1. India is due to return to the UK in 2022 for three T20Is and three ODIs.
The England and Wales and Cricket Board (ECB) confirmed that the fifth Test between India and England at Old Trafford has been called off, following uncertainties over the positive COVID-19 tests in the Indian camp.
“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,” the ECB said in a statement.
“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,” it added.
The ECB statement initially said that India, which led the series 2-1, had forfeited the final Test and the series was drawn 2-2. The statement has since been amended to say: “India are regrettably unable to field a team.”
Lancashire has also issued a statement, with Daniel Gidney, the chief executive, saying the club is “absolutely devastated about the late cancellation” of the Old Trafford Test.
“We’d like to unreservedly apologise to ticket holders and all those that have or are due to travel to Emirates Old Trafford. A full refund will be issued, but we appreciate for many supporters, attending this Test match is more than just the monetary worth. After the last 18 months we’ve all experienced through the pandemic, it’s a fixture cricket fans in the North West have looked forward to for the best part of 18 months,” the ECB had stated.
Cancellation of the Test has cost the fund-starved ECB £ 40 million. In such a scenario ECB would like to walk extra mile to ensure that the match was rescheduled.