The sequence of events that have taken place in Manchester on September 10 have been absolutely bizarre and unfortunate for cricket lovers. After India's assistant physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive for COVID-19, there were a lot of concerns inside the camp regarding their health and safety. Despite the recent rounds of RT-PCR tests returning negative, it was reported that Virat Kohli's side were not in the mental state to play the 5th and final Test of the Test series on Friday.
While ECB initially stated that India had forfeited the match, they retracted their statement to confirm that the match was cancelled and the series was still 2-1 in India's favour. Few moments later, BCCI released a statement which said, "In lieu of the strong relationship between the BCCI and ECB, the BCCI has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled Test match. Both boards will work towards finding a window to reschedule this Test match."
Rescheduled Test match might not be part of this series
During a conversation with Sky Sports, ECB CEO Tom Harrison hinted that the re-scheduled Test match might not be an extension of the series and could eventually be a standalone Test only. "The prospect of us playing a one-off Test match against India, as a focal point, on this ground to come back and give fans the thing that they have missed out on this time, let's try work on that and see if we can deliver it," he said.
Considering the fact that India have to travel to UAE in few days to play the rescheduled IPL 2021 followed by the World Cup, there is no window to complete the series during the ongoing tour. This is why it is being reported that the series might be deemed as over after four Tests only. Therefore, the Manchester Test, which could be played during India's next tour of England in July 2022, will be a one-off game and not a part of the Test series.
What will happen to result of series and WTC points?
If the series is deemed as over with the Manchester Test not being considered as part of it, it would be India's first series win in England since 2007 as they lead it 2-1. However, there is still no official confirmation on the same. Notably, the series is also a part of WTC 2021-23 cycle and there is no clarity with respect to how the points will be awarded to both the teams in current situation.
Talking about the same with BBC, Tom Harrison said, "That's not one for today. Today is all about making sure we have fronted this in terms of what has happened, why it has happened, what the situation is with respect to the immediate turn. Thoughts will turn to that soon. That is not a decision for us, it's a decision for ICC to think about in the context of the World Test Championship."