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Saturday, September 25, 2021

‘It’s a joint decision with ECB to cancel the 5th Test’: Jay Shah

BCCI secretary Jay Shah said that it’s a joint decision with the ECB to cancel the fifth Test and the two boards will work together to find a window to reschedule the game in the future.

Written by Devendra Pandey |
Updated: September 10, 2021 9:33:17 pm
IND vs ENG 5th TESTIND vs ENG 5th TEST: The series decider Test at Old Trafford has been called off due to Covid fear. (ECB)

The fifth and final Test between India and England in Manchester has been called off due to Covid-19 fears in the Indian camp on Friday.

In a statement, BCCI secretary Jay Shah said that it was a joint decision with the ECB to cancel the fifth Test and the two boards will work together to find a window to reschedule the game in the future.

The BCCI statement read, “The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) along with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have jointly decided to call off the 5th Test Match scheduled at Manchester in ongoing India’s tour of England 2021. The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the Test Match, however, the outbreak of Covid-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the Old Trafford Test Match. In lieu of the strong relationship between BCCI and ECB, the BCCI has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled Test match. Both the Boards will work towards finding a window to reschedule this Test match.”

Earlier, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) also issued an official statement confirming the cancellation of the match. “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. Further information will be shared in due course,” the ECB said in the statement.

Even on the Friday morning, the Indian players remained in dark about the Covid-19 impacted game at Manchester. With a few hours to go before their scheduled departure to the ground, the Indian cricketers were isolated in their hotel rooms wondering if they would be asked to play the crucial Test which would decide the outcomes of the series. With the England and India board in talks till late on Thursday night, the players were keenly awaiting for any update on the team Whatsapp group.

The uncertainty over the Manchester Test was because of the Indian team support staff, assistant physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar, returning Covid positive on eve of the Test on Thursday. Although the ECB was keen on going ahead with the schedule after the latest round of RT-PCR tests of the Indian players returned negative, the Indian players have reservations.

It was earlier reported that the Indian players had a meeting on Thursday evening (BST), where the majority of the squad members expressed their unwillingness to play the fifth Test. According to sources, with the Indian Premier League (IPL) resuming in the United Arab Emirates from September 19, players are wary about the risk factors. Parmar had been monitoring several players, including Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma – players with various niggles – during and after the fourth Test that ended on Monday.

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