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England v India Fifth Test cancelled after Covid cases in tourists camp

England v India Fifth Test cancelled after Covid cases in tourists camp

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ngland’s deciding Test against India was today cancelled, less than three hours before play was due to start at Old Trafford, following Covid cases in the tourists’ camp.

India scrapped their final pre-match training session on Thursday, as well as their mandatory press conference, with the squad confined to their hotel rooms due to a member of their backroom staff returning a positive test.

The threat to the match appeared to recede when the ECB confirmed on Wednesday evening that a fresh round of PCR tests had come back fully negative, but it has been reported that a number of players remain wary of taking the field.

The ECB and the BCCI have spent much of the past 24 hours steeped in negotiations and they were continuing even as fans were beginning the journeys to attend the sold-out fixture.

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But a statement from the ECB read: “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.

“Due to fears of a further increase in the number of COVID cases inside the camp, India are regrettably unable to field 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.

“Further information will be shared in due course.”

England were trailing the series 2-1, and the initial statement from the ECB said India will “forfeit the match”. However, that line was removed in an updated version, suggesting talks are ongoing between the cricket boards over the issue.

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