Following ongoing conversations with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has confirmed that the fifth Test between England and India has been cancelled.
The ECB, on Friday September 10, in a statement mentioned: “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,” the statement added.
The development comes on the back of intense discussions between the BCCI and the ECB after India’s assistant physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar returned a positive Covid-19 test on Wednesday. Later head coach of Indian team Ravi Shastri tested positive.
While three members of the contingent – Patel, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar – were identified as immediate contacts of Shastri, it was far more difficult to determine who the close contacts of Parmar were, considering he was treating a wider group of players. This included Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma. These players have been mingling among the wider group, which has made identifying close contacts even more complicated.
Meanwhile, as per ESPN cricinfo, the series result would be determined by the ICC match referee Chris Broad based on whether the ECB accepts India’s fears of a larger outbreak in their camp as “acceptable non-compliance” as per the WTC playing conditions. If the ECB does accept it, India will win the series 2-1. But if it doesn’t, and instead challenges that outcome, the matter will go to the ICC’s Dispute Resolution Committee. Currently India have pocketed 26 WTC points from the series while England have 14 out of the available 48 points.