The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has formally removed a statement from its press release announcing the cancellation of the 5th Test in Manchester. The fact that Team India had forfeited the game due to a lack of a playing XI was mentioned in the statement, but it was later removed.
The Indian players were believed to be hesitant to play the match due to a few positive cases in the Indian camp. The ECB was thought to have requested the BCCI to forfeit or carry the match on Thursday.
Following several negotiations, the ECB issued an official statement stating that the match had been cancelled due to India’s inability to field a side. It was also confirmed that it would be declared a forfeit, with England receiving a win and the series ending in a 2-2 tie.
However, the ECB then withdrew the statement and removed the section about the forfeiture. This has caused a great deal of consternation in both sides, and no official confirmation has yet been received.
Virat Kohli and his teammates had tested negative in their RT-PCR testing, therefore the decision was unexpected. As a result, the match was expected to continue. However, the ECB later addressed the matter in an official statement, so it was not to be.
“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 canceled. “
“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. 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 statement said.
The series is currently 2-1 in favour of India. According to new sources, the fifth Test may be played at a later date.