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

The fifth Test match between India and England, scheduled to begin today in Manchester, has been cancelled, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced on Friday. Meanwhile, the Indian cricket board has offered to reschedule the cancelled Test match, saying that both boards will work towards “finding 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.

“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.”

India were leading the five-match series 2-1 after a thumping victory at The Oval where the visitors won the match by 157 runs.

India suffered a setback during the fourth Test when three members of their support staff including head coach Ravi Shastri had tested positive for Covid.

Apart from Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar had contracted the virus.

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.

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