Manchester Test called off, India unable to field team


The fifth and the final Test between England and India was called off on Friday after Indian players refused to take to the field amidst cases of coronavirus in their dressing room.  A statement from the England and Wales Cricket Board said, “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 unable to field a team and will instead forfeit the match,” BBC Test Match Special quoted a statement from the ECB.

However, the ECB later removed the reference to ‘forfeit from its statement saying that more was to follow soon.

Earlier there were speculations on whether the final Test will go ahead after a senior member of the Indian contingent tested positive for coronavirus.

Cricket journalist George Dobell had tweeted, “If you’re about to leave home to travel to Manchester Test… don’t. More to follow. But I don’t think we get play today. It appears a group of players is uncomfortable with continuing in light of Covid outbreak.”

His tweet by shared by England cricketer Ben Stokes, who wrote, “Info.”

Commentator Harsha Bhogle tweeted, “Best to wait for an official statement before speculating or playing a blame game…..Not long anyway.”

This was after India’s assistant physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar tested positive for coronavirus. This had forced the Indian team to cancel their practice session on Thursday.

The first test of the entire Indian team had returned negative but the authorities were awaiting the results of their second test.

According to ESPNCricinfo, more than one Indian player expressed his reluctance to play on Friday.

India head coach Ravi Shastri had tested positive during the Oval Test and has since been isolating with bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar and physiotherapist Nitin Patel.

India currently lead the series 2-1 after beating England by 157 runs.