India vs England 5th Test match: The final Test of the ongoing India’s tour of England is scheduled to be played at Old Trafford.
Yogesh Parmar, assistant physiotherapist of the senior men’s Indian cricket team, has become the fourth member of the support staff on the ongoing tour of England to test positive for COVID-19.
The development has put the fifth England vs India Test in jeopardy as Parmar returned a positive test after being tested as recent as Wednesday evening. As a result, the whole Indian contingent had to undergo fresh round of testing this morning, results of which are keenly awaited by all stakeholders.
It was amidst the fourth Test match between England and India at The Oval last week that head coach Ravi Shastri had returned a positive lateral flow test. Bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar and physiotherapist Nitin Patel, who were identified as Shastri’s close contacts, had all been quarantined as a precautionary measure.
While the trio of Shastri, Arun and Sridhar had went on to return positive RT-PCR tests, Patel had returned a negative RT-PCT test. Shastri, Arun and Sridhar, who were in their team hotels and didn’t attend the second half of the fourth Test, have also been ruled out of the fifth Test in Manchester.
Has India vs England 5th Test match been cancelled?
With the final Test of the series scheduled to commence from tomorrow, the authorities are in a race against time for things might go in an unwanted direction especially if players return positive tests.
As of now, the match is very much on but an official statement on the same will be released by the ECB (England Cricket Board) tonight. The Indian team’s training session on Thursday morning had to be canceled after Parmar tested positive as he was a close contact to multiple Indian players.
India training is off this afternoon…
— Will Macpherson (@willis_macp) September 9, 2021
Readers must note that ECB and BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) are expected to be in constant discussion with respect to the matter. Had any medical emergency happened in normal times, the match could have been delayed but it’s almost impossible to do it with tight scheduling in the COVID-19 era.
An additional complexity to the situation is the fact that players from both the Indian and English contingents are set to leave for the UAE for the second phase of Indian Premier League 2021 right after the fifth Test. Given a five-day gap between Day 5 of Manchester Test and first match of IPL 2021, any postponement seems highly unlikely.
Assuming that IPL-bound players test positive, it might have consequences with respect to the biggest T20 league as well.
UPDATE: The fifth Test between England and India has been cancelled after intense and elongated discussions between the two boards.