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. BCCI has also offered to the ECB for rescheduling the canceled Test match.
Although, ECB CEO Tom Harrison has said that England cricket and BCCI are trying to find a window to schedule this test match. Harrison made it clear that it would be a one-off game, which means India would be adjudged as winners of the series (2-1). According to the reports, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly is expected to meet Harrison and Ian Whatmore on September 22. In the meeting, they’re likely to discuss the modalities of the one-off match next year, during a personal visit to the UK from September 22.
Both the boards will work towards finding a window to reschedule this Test match: BCCI
The BCCI statement read, “The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) along with the 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 Test Match. In lieu of the strong relationship between BCCI and ECB, the BCCI has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the canceled Test match. Both the boards will work towards finding a window to reschedule this Test match.”
We will make sure to reschedule the much-awaited Old Trafford Test match next summer: Tom Harrison, ECB CEO
“A huge amount has happened over the last 24 hours. And from one cricket lover to another, I want to say how sorry I am for all the inconvenience caused by the cancellation of this Test match. We were all looking forward to what promised to be the culmination of this brilliant Test Series. And I’m so disappointed at not being able to get the match played.”
“I have heard many stories today of people who planned for months or saved hard during this pandemic to have a special day out with friends and family. To not see that happen is hard to take. Today’s news will have been so frustrating, especially given the short notice. Please know that we worked through the night to find solutions and avoid this outcome,” he added.
“Refunds to ticket holders will be issued shortly. And although this will be no consolation to many, we will try to reschedule this long-awaited Emirates Old Trafford Test next summer. Thank you for all your support for England Cricket. It means a great deal to all of us.” said ECB chief Harrison in an official statement.
The most likely window for the rescheduled game is in July next year. India will return to England next year to play three T20Is and three ODIs. The T20Is would begin on July 1, 3, and 6 at Manchester, Nottingham, and Southampton respectively. The ODIs commence from July 9 in Birmingham. Followed by the second and third ODIs on July 12 and July 14 at The Oval and Lord’s. And there is a high possibility that the one-off test match will be played during this series.