The fifth and final India vs England Test match will be played as per the scheduled at Old Trafford ground in Manchester as all Indian players have tested negative for Covid 19. The match is set to start at 3.30 PM on Indian time on Friday.
The fate of the Manchester match had become uncertain after junior physiotherapist of Indian team Yogesh Parmar tested positive for Covid-19 on Wednesday. This was a tense moment for cricket fans and BCCI as there was doubt on the fifth and last test match.
Earlier, the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) had asked the BCCI that in case it wants to cancel the fifth and final Test match it will have to forfeit the match.
But that was not acceptable to India captain Virat Kohli and his deputy Rohit Sharma who clearly declined to accept this offer. Both of them are learnt to have clearly conveyed that in no case Indian team will forfeit the match even if that meant playing it under Covid cloud.
In the current test series, so far, four test matches have been played between India and England out of which India won two matches and one was a draw match. Accepting ECB’s proposal would have meant that the series would end up as a 2-2 draw which was not accepted by the Indian team.
To resolve this serious clash of opinion between the two cricket boards, the BCCI delegation also met with the ECB. The Covid 19 had spoiled the sport as well as the mood of the Indian team. The junior physio Parmar was tested positive for COVID-19. The main physio of the team Nitin Patel was already in isolation after Shastri contracted a virus during the Oval test match. The BCCI is learnt to have asked the ECB to spare a physio for the Indian team.
Other than Shastri and Patel the fielding coach R Sridhar and bowling coach Bharath Arun were also in isolation in London. Only the batting coach Vikram Rathour was available for the team when the Indian team had won the fourth test match at the Oval.
This situation had left BCCI president Sourav Ganguly worried and he became unsure whether the fifth and final Test against England, scheduled from Friday can be taken up or not. “We don’t know if a match will happen at the moment. Hopefully, we can get some game,” Ganguly had said on the sidelines of the launch of ‘Mission Domination’ in Kolkata.