New Delhi: Amid doubts over the fifth Test match between England and India being played at Manchester, in a dramatic turn of events, the series finale was cancelled citing covid fears. The day started with news coming in that the fifth Test will be deferred with the opening day’s play confirmed to have been called off. However, soon an official statement from ECB announced that the entire match has been cancelled.
The England and Wales Cricket Board had earlier said, “India are unable to field a team and will instead forfeit the match.”
However, in a matter of minutes the ECB quickly amended their statement and wrote, “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,” it added.
Responding the earlier quote, BCCI Vice President Rajeev Shukla said, “There is no question of forfeiting the 5th Test, negotiations are taking place on future course.”
Meanwhile, PTI quoted a BCCI source as saying the cancelled fifth and final match could be played later.
The speculations over the fate of the match began after Indian physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar returned a positive covid-19 test on Wednesday. Which led to series of discussions between the two boards with reports claiming that the visitors were asked to forfeit the match if unable to take the field.
There were further reports of several senior India cricketers expressing their reservations over taking the field despite the entire squad testing negative for the deadly virus on Thursday.