After a great display of competition between bat and ball, the Test series between England and India has ended in a very unusual way. The series saw two cricketing heavyweights leaving no stone unturned and matching each other blow for blow. However, with just three matches being played in the series, the Virat Kohli-led side was slightly better than England cricket team and was leading the series 2-1 until the COVID-19 scare forced boards of both nations to cancel the last match of the series.
The fifth and final Test match of the series between England and India which was scheduled to take place in Manchester has been called off due to the COVID-19 scare in the Indian camp.
England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed the development. When they released the statement, it was mentioned that the final Test match of the series has been forfeited which, raised several eyebrows. However, minutes after posting the statement, the ECB corrected and stated that the match has been called off rather than being forfeited.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) released an official statement and stated that the match between the two nations has been called off and added that BCCI has offered ECB to reschedule the series and both the boards will work together and find a window to reschedule the last match of the series.
“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. In lieu of the strong relationship between BCCI and ECB, the BCCI has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled Test match. Both the Boards will work towards finding a window to reschedule this Test match.” BCCI stated
BCCI vice-president Rajiv Shukla while talking about the same to the ANI, said that the governing body along with ECB’s Chairman and CEO along with players of both the teams decided to call off the match. He further added that BCCI will not forfeit the match no matter what and the negotiations with ECB will be done to solve the issue.
“After wide consultations between BCCI President, BCCI Secretary, Treasurer, me and Joint Secretary, along with ECB Chairman and CEO and in consultations with players, captain, senior players it was decided to call off this Test match which was slated in Manchester. And other things you know, other negotiations with ECB will continue to resolve the whole issue amicably. There is no question of forfeiting the match, it has been only called off. Those negotiations are taking place.” Rajiv Shukla said.
With the second phase of IPL 2021 slated to be played from 19th September followed by a jam-packed international schedule, there is likely no possible window this year in which the test match can be rescheduled. However, with Team India set to tour England for the white-ball series next year, the two governing bodies can consider that window. Although no official confirmation yet, it remains to be seen when will the Test match take place.