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Fifth Test between India and England in Manchester not starting today due to Covid fears: Report

India

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India’s fifth and final test against England, scheduled to begin later on Friday in Manchester, is likely to be postponed after a COVID-19 case in the tourists’ camp, an Indian cricket board official said. 

This after long the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had long discussions on Thursday and Friday.

“NO PLAY TODAY,” commentator and former India wicketkeeper Dinesh Karthik tweeted.

Speaking to ANI, sources in the know of developments confirmed the development and said more test results will be taken into consideration before taking a call. “Yes, it is not starting today. More test results are awaited before a call is taken on starting on Saturday,” the source said.

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Ahead of the fifth and final Test against England, Parmar tested positive for COVID-19 in Manchester. This had led to Team India’s training session for Thursday afternoon being cancelled.

However, there are no COVID-19 related worries in the England camp and Jos Buttler said everything is fine and the hosts are looking forward to the game.

“We don’t know too much about it at the moment. It would be naive to speculate on what’s going on. At the moment we’re fully expecting the game to go ahead and we’re preparing that way so fingers crossed the game will go ahead. Things are fine in our camp and we are looking forward to the game,” said Buttler in a virtual press conference.

This came after India head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar returned positive results to their RT-PCR tests during the fourth Test.

They are currently undergoing isolation and can come out only after returning two negative results.

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On Sunday, just half an hour before the start of play on Day 4 of the fourth Test, the BCCI said its medical team had isolated Shastri, Bharat Arun, Sridhar, and physio Nitin Patel as a precautionary measure after Shastri’s lateral flow test returned positive on Saturday evening.

The remaining members of the Team India contingent had undergone two Lateral Flow Tests — one on Saturday night and another on Sunday morning. The members upon returning negative COVID reports were allowed to proceed for Day 4 of the fourth Test at The Oval against England. 

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