ENG v IND: 5th Test Cancelled Hours Before Play, 'India Unable To Field Team'

The fifth Test between India and England, which was supposed to start today, has been cancelled.

ENG v IND: 5th Test Cancelled Hours Before Play, 'India Unable To Field Team'
ENG v IND: 5th Test Cancelled Hours Before Play, 'India Unable To Field Team'

The England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed on Friday that the fifth Test match between India and England, which was set to begin today in Manchester, has been cancelled. In the meanwhile, the Indian cricket board has offered to reschedule the cancelled Test match, stating that both boards will work together to "find a window to reschedule this Test match."Earlier, the ECB, in a statement, had said that the Manchester Test had to be cancelled after India were "unable to field a team" due to fears of a further increase in the number of Covid cases inside the camp.

"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," ECB said in a media statement.

"Due to fears of a further increase in the number of COVID cases inside the camp, India are regrettably unable to field a team," the statement further read. In a separate statement, the Indian board "offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled Test match".

"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," the Indian board said.

"The BCCI has offered the ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled Test match due to the excellent relationship between the two organisations. Both Boards will try to locate a time when this Test match can be rescheduled." India had taken a 2-1 lead in the five-match series with a stunning victory at The Oval, where the visitors won by 157 runs. Three members of India's support staff, including head coach Ravi Shastri, tested positive for Covid during the fourth Test, giving the team a blow. 

Aside from Shastri, the illness had infected bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar. On the eve of the fifth Test, a member reportedly tested positive following which the decision to cancel the match had to be taken by both teams.