Final England-India test off after outbreak in…

Final England-India test off after outbreak in…

The gripping test series between England and India came to an unsatisfactory conclusion on Friday when the fifth and final test was canceled before a ball was bowled amid health concerns among India’s players following a coronavirus outbreak in their camp.

The match was called off about two hours before the scheduled start of play at Old Trafford because India was “regrettably unable to field a team,” according to the England and Wales Cricket Board, due to fears of more cases inside the group.

The final result of the series remained up in the air, with the leadership of both the England and India teams in negotiations about rearranging the match.

India leads 2-1 and the ECB quickly amended an initial statement that said the tourists forfeited the test, which would have meant the series was drawn 2-2.

It’s not just world test championship points at stake, or the kudos for India of winning a test series in England for the first time in 14 years and fourth time in its history — less than a year after a memorable series win in Australia.

The result is also important because of financial implications linked to insurance, with the cost of losing a test match hitting the ECB in the pocket to the tune of 20 million pounds ($27.7 million) — another blow to the governing body during the pandemic. It was a devastating blow, too, to the host of the match, English county Lancashire, which is not staging a test match next year when New Zealand and South Africa visit England.

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