The fifth and final Test match between India and England, slated to start on September 10 in Manchester has been cancelled due to recent COVID-19 cases in the Indian camp. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have both agreed on the same.
Earlier today, day one of the fifth and final Test in Manchester was postponed after some Indian players expressed their reluctance to take the field after having been in close contact with at least one of those who tested positive for Covid. As a result, the fifth game between India and England has been abandoned. Notably, India led the series 2-1 after the conclusion of fourth game at The Oval.
Here's the official announcement:
"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," ECB said in its statement.
The calling off of the final game was on the cards since the emergence of the news of one of the members from the visitor's camp testing positive for COVID-19 on Thursday evening (IST). Notably, earlier, head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar had tested positive for COVID-19 and thus, have been kept in isolation for 10 days as per the UK government's health advisory for those returning positive results for the virus. If we go further prior to that, Arun alongside Wriddhiman Saha and Abhimanyu Easwaran, were isolated in July as well for coming in close contact of training assistant Dayanand Garani, who had then tested positive for the virus. Before this, Rishabh Pant too had contracted the virus.