Pataudi Trophy 2021: 5th Test called off following fresh COVID case in Indian camp
India and England would lock horns in the fifth Test in Manchester. However, the Test has been abandoned from its scheduled start on Friday following a new COVID case in the Indian camp.
On Friday, the much-awaited fifth and final Test between India and England for the Pataudi Trophy at Old Trafford in Manchester has been called off. Yogesh Parmar, India's assistant physio, had tested COVID positive on Wednesday.
While since Parmar has been put into isolation, it was unclear if the Indian side would take the field on Friday. Meanwhile, ESPNCricinfo reveals that the Board of Control for Cricket in India held serious discussions with the team management, and England had Wales Cricket Board.
"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," said ECB in a statement.
However, it is notable that the statement does not inform whether the abandonment is a forfeit, resulting in an English win and the series being tied 2-2, or if it has been converted to a four-Test series, with Indian winning 2-1. The International Cricket Council is expected to take a call on the same after having discussions with match referee Chris Broad.
Notably, the ICC World Test Championship playing conditions states that the COVID outbreak is an acceptable reason, and the Test could be abandoned. Also, with the points percentage system in play, cancellation of the fifth Test would not have impacted the points tally of any side.
It is also being reported more some of the Indian players have raised concerns about taking the field on Friday. Although the entire squad had tested negative on Thursday, a fresh round of testing will be done on Friday.
In the meantime, BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla has confirmed to ANI that the match has not been forfeited and has just been called off following intense discussions and talks with ECB and players. On the other hand, he asserted that the entire issue would be sorted out in a friendly manner, as further negotiations with ECB are on, including playing the Test later.
It is to be noted that India is scheduled to tour England again next year for limited-overs contests, and it could well be possible that the Test could be adjusted on that tour. However, with the 2022 home schedule already been announced by the ECB, it might just have to tweak it a bit to accommodate the Test.
"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,"said BCCI in a statement.
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