The final Test match between England and India slated to get underway on Friday had to be cancelled owing to the COVID-19 scare in the Indian camp. While head coach Ravi Shastri had already tested positive for the infection, another member from the support staff contracted the infection on the eve of the fifth Test. While it was reported on Thursday, that the match will go ahead as planned, after all kinds of speculations on Friday morning, the England and Wales Cricket Board formally announced the cancellation of the Test.
Notably, after the conclusion of the first four matches, India were 2-1 up in the series and the fans were looking forward to a fitting finale to a closely-contested series. However, things were far from ideal and the game was called off hours before the start.
Here are the messages:
"The match has been called off. It’s impt that each one of you stay in your room," read a message on the team's WhatsApp group as reported by ESPNCricinfo.
"We are unable to arrange breakfast in your room so if you want you can go to the restaurant to have your meal," read another message minutes after the first one was sent.
Most members of the Indian team along with several English cricketers will now head to the United Arab Emirates where IPL 2021 is set to resume on September 19.
We send our sincere apologies to fans and partners: ECB
"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," a statement released by the ECB read.
Meanwhile, it is now being learned that the players of the Indian team received contradictory messages on their Whatsapp group. While they were earlier conveyed that the match has been called off and were instructed to remain in their rooms, they were later told that their breakfast is not going to get arranged in their rooms and they can move to the restaurant for the same.