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Live blog – Manchester Test cancelled amid India’s Covid-19 issues

Live blog - Manchester Test cancelled amid India's Covid-19 issues


The Manchester Test was cancelled hours before the match was due to begin, with Covid-19 having hit India’s support staff. Here’s ESPNcricinfo’s live updates on the matter.

9.23am The capacity of Emirates Old Trafford is approximately 21,500, so that’s going to be a lot of disappointed supporters over the next five days. They will all be reimbursed as per the ECB’s cancellations policy, but it’s a big hole in Lancashire’s finances all the same. And who knows where it sits with the ECB’s broadcasting deal – that will be one of the major issues to be thrashed out between the two boards in the coming hours. Ironic, really, seeing as Old Trafford was one of the bio-secure venues that ensured the 2020 summer schedule went without a hitch.

9.12am So many questions about what happens next, but none of them look like being answered in a hurry. The ECB and BCCI are still resolving the immediate fall-out of a situation.

Sky Sports News are reporting that ICC match referee, Chris Broad, will determine the result of the series – 2-1 with a cancellation, or 2-2 if India are deemed to have forfeited the match. Shades of The Oval Test against Pakistan in 2006…

8.58am The ECB has confirmed that the “forfeiture” line in their statement was amended after publication, adding that they are “working through details with BCCI right now, so bit of a live situation”.

8.45am So that’s it then. The Old Trafford Test has been cancelled without a ball being bowled.

A statement has just landed from the ECB: “Following ongoing conversations with the BCCI, the ECB can confirm that the fifth 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.”

The initial wording of the statement from the ECB, as per their website, stated that India would be “forfeiting” the match, meaning the series would finish 2-2. That word is missing now, so we await clarification of what this means for the series.

8.07am Good morning and welcome to what should be the first morning of the fifth Test between England and India at Emirates Old Trafford. Unfortunately, we’ve just got word that there will be no play today.

ESPNcricinfo understands that a number of India players have expressed reservations about taking the field in the wake of India’s assistant physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar testing positive for Covid-19. Although the entire squad returned negative RT-PCR tests on Thursday, they will now undergo a further round, with the hope that the match may be able to start over the weekend.