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Cricket: England-India 5th test cancelled after COVID outbreak

The fifth and final test of the series was cancelled just hours before play was due to start, following a coronavirus outbreak in Indian camp.

The fifth Test between England and India has been cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns within the India camp, the England and Wales Cricket Board has announced, just hours before the match at Old Trafford was due to start.

“Following ongoing conversations with the BCCI [Board of Control for Cricket in India], the ECB can confirm that the fifth Test between England and India Men due to start today at Emirates Old Trafford, will be cancelled,” said the statement on Friday.

“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 ECB initially said in the statement that India had forfeited the match but later retracted that.

India were 2-1 up in the series heading into the final match but the test was thrown into doubt on Thursday after their physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

As a result, India’s entire touring party was forced to isolate in its Manchester hotel, and cancel their final training session and mandatory pre-match press conference on Thursday.

India coach Ravi Shastri had tested positive during the fourth test at The Oval and has since been isolating.

Bowling coach Bharath Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar and main physio Nitin Patel also tested positive.

Reports said several Indian players harboured concerns over the spread of the virus and were unwilling to play, meaning India could not put out a team.

“We send our sincere apologies to fans and partners for this news, which we know will cause immense disappointment and inconvenience to many,” the ECB said.




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