The fifth and final Test between India and England has been cancelled after a COVID-19 outbreak in the Indian camp. The Test was scheduled to be held from September 10 to 14 at Old Trafford, Manchester.
The BCCI has stated that it has offered ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled Test match with both boards working to find a window to play the cancelled match.
In a statement, the England Cricket Board said that India are unable to field a team "due to fears of a further increase in the number of COVID cases inside the camp."
According to ESPNcricinfo, many Indian players expressed reservations about playing the match after India's assistant physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. Parmar is the latest member of the Indian support staff to test positive after Ravi Shastri, Bharat Arun and R Sridhar, the head coach, bowling coach and fielding coach respectively tested positive during the fourth Test at The Oval.
The announcement has set off a storm on social media with England fans and members of the media criticising the move. Allegations have risen that the decision was taken to ensure that Indian players will be able to take part in the IPL 2021 which will resume on September 19.
There is also confusion as to the result of the five-match series. The first statement put out by the ECB stated that India had forfeited the match. However, the statement was updated to remove mention of a forfeiture.
According to the ICC's playing conditions for Tests, COVID-19 concerns can lead to matches being cancelled.
If the match is considered to be cancelled, the ECB fears that it will be unable to claim insurance money given that the Indian squad returned negative RT-PCR Tests.
The final decision will also impact the 2021-23 World Test Championship points table. If the match is considered to be cancelled due to COVID-19, ICC rules would mean that the five-match series would be counted as a four-match series.
For a five-match series, 60 points are up for grabs while 48 points are available for a four-match series. As penalty for slow over-rates, teams are docked one championship point for each over short.
After four Tests, India were leading 2-1 having won the Tests at Lord's and The Oval. If it is decided that India have forfeited the match, England would be awarded the victory which would mean the five-match series would end 2-2. If it is decided that the match has been cancelled, India would win the Test series 2-1.
If the match is "cancelled" and the series is reduced to four matches, India will claim 26 points out of 48 while England will get 14 points. If the match is a "forfeiture", both India and England will be awarded 26 points.
This is a developing story.
Updated On: 2021-10-26T18:24:32+05:30