After a lot of confusion and chaos on September 11, 2021, which was supposed to be the starting day of the Manchester Test, the match had to be called off. While there were some reports hinting that the match could be postponed by two days, later it was confirmed that the match will not happen at all. The decision came at the backdrop of a few COVID-19 cases in the Indian camp and in an official release ECB further claimed that India would not be able to field a team at Old Trafford.
Fresh media reports were speculating that the rescheduled IPL 2021 which is set to start from September 19 could have played a role in the decision to call the final Test. These reports claimed that India were reluctant to push the dates of the Manchester Test since it would mean several players missing out on the initial matches of the UAE leg of IPL.
Indian cricket team are as passionate about Test cricket as fans in our country: ECB chief
However, ECB chief Tom Harrison has declined all such claims and said that the cancellation of the match had nothing to do with IPL.
"This is not the situation which has been created by the rescheduled IPL. That’s not the case. This Indian cricket team are as passionate about Test cricket as fans in our country are and as our cricket team are as well. India simply felt that they got to a point where they weren’t able to take to the field. That is understandable," Harrison told BBC Sport.
"We are looking forward to making sure that we can reschedule this match to some point in the near future. Effectively whether that fifth match is null and void or whether it is actually regarded as something else, a forfeiture. I don’t know where that conversation goes, but it’s not one for today," he added.
It is being learned that BCCI and ECB are working together to try and reach an amicable solution to the issue. In his statement, Harrison underlines the fact that everything will be done by taking care of the mental health of the players which is of priority at these uncertain times of pandemic. The length of tours also tends to impact the players and thus the boards are taking their time before arriving at a decision.