How Team Virat saved the 5th test “loss” off the ground
The 5th test cancellation was preceded by 24 hours of real drama behind the scenes. It all started after the junior physio of the team, Yogesh Parmer tested covid positive. Which was the 4th case after 3 members of the coaching staff including Ravi Shastri were in isolation already. And was going to miss the 5th test. A physio due to the nature of his work is bound to come in close contact with the Indian players. Yogesh’s case made the Indian team players nervous and they decided not to play.
It was all uncertain till a few hours before the test it was declared that play was called off for the day. Which undoubtedly inconvenienced a lot of fans. We were travelling to Manchester from miles away to watch day 1 of the test.
Lots of formulas were floated out whether the test will be deferred for 2 days or cancelled etc.
The boards got into the act and as the Indian players refused, the ECB released a statement saying that the Indians are unable to take part due to covid worries in their camp, the test match is forfeited and the series ends at 2-2.
To this the players and the objected. The players led by Kohli clearly said that they are not forfeiting the match. But are worried to play due to the covid outbreak in the camp. How Team Virat saved the 5th test “loss” off the ground.
The players already had one RC-PCR test which they cleared without any positive results and another round of tests had to happen and the nature of the covid virus is such that it takes a few days to get positive in a fresh individual after his initial proximity with a covid patient.
Hence when the players were rooted to their stance. That they are not forfeiting the match the BCCI forced the ECB to change their statement
Thus the revised ECB statement read as under
Following ongoing conversations with the BCCI, the ECB can confirm that the fifth LV= Insurance 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 is 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.
Thus the ECB changed their statement from ” 5th test forfeited” to ” 5th test Cancelled ”
Both the board will now work out how to fit in the 5th test in future tours program. India are due to visit England in 2022 for the limited-overs series and it is possible that the 5th test will be played during that time to complete the current incomplete test series with India leading 2-1.
Hence , after a long ” test match ” off the field, the Indians managed to avoid the ” forfeiture ” tag of the 5th test match which would have tied the series 2-2 , and changed its status to cancelled with India still leading 2-1 .