The whole Indian team The group currently present in Manchester tested negative for the dreaded COVID-19 virus in the RT-PCR tests done on Thursday morning. It brings relief to many of those who have been waiting for a watershed match between England and India in the 5ste Test at Old Trafford Manchester.
There are still doubts about the fifth Test match, in the series in which India leads 2-1 after victories in Lord’s and the Oval. This comes after Team India’s assistant physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday night after the entire team spent the day training.
The English and Welsh Cricket Board (ECB) canceled the sessions for Thursday and the entire Indian contingent was asked to stay in their hotel rooms and RT-PCR tests were done.
On Thursday morning, the top buyer of BCCI held a virtual meeting with the Indian team management, including captain Virat Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri to find a way forward. ESPNCricinfo also reported that Indian players remain concerned even though they have left the final decision with the BCCI.
The ECB has asked BCCI to forfeit the fifth Test if they do not want to play
On Thursday, the BCCI entered into discussions with the ECB to find a solution to take things forward. When the subject of the cancellation of the match came through, the English council made it clear that it would interpret a refusal to play as a forfeiture. That would have meant England would win the Test match and celebrate the series, despite India leading 2-1.
The BCCI was not in favor of this and the Indian team members were also keen to play. If the match is canceled, the BCCI will also suffer lost revenue from broadcasters and the venue. The lost revenue could amount to £ 30 million (306 crore INR).
This would not have been according to the rules of the Continuing World Test Championship, as a Covid-19 outbreak within a team is allowed according to the WTC’s playing conditions as an acceptable reason why a test is abandoned — and not forfeited does not become.
If the last Test is not played, India will bag 26 WTC points, while England have 14 out of 48 points from four Tests available.
BCCI does not want the IPL 2021 to be affected either
Another concern for the BCCI was the cascading effect it would have on the IPL 2021 starting on 19 Septemberste five days after the Manchester Test. Most of the English and Indian players are going to board charter flights to Dubai to join their franchises.
The BCCI does not want the IPL to have an impact, as it is scheduled to host the 2020 Men’s World Cup in the UAE and Oman two days after the IPL ends on 15 October.