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Clouds loom over start of Old Trafford Test after COVID scare; BCCI, ECB hold frenetic discussions

Updated: Sep 10, 2021

The Old Trafford Test between India and England will likely not begin on Friday as per the scheduled timing. Final decision on when and whether match will begin is yet to be taken. It has been understood as per a report by ESPNCricinfo that BCCI and ECB are in intense discussions after India's assistant physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.

More than one India player have raised concerns about taking the field on Friday. They have been in touch with the BCCI administration about this development over the last two days.

The entire India squad tested negative last night and the results of fresh testing is awaited on Friday morning.

India vs England 5th Test: The entire India test negative for Covid-19 on Thursday. Team India assistant physio Yogesh Parmar has been tested positive for Covid 19
The entire India squad tests negative for COVID-19 (©AFP/Getty Images)

BCCI will be concerned about the IPL and World T20 which are scheduled to be held over the next two months. In this context, players need to be looked after well and BCCI has to deal with this situation very carefully.

Earlier Yesterday..

On the eve of the fifth Test at Old Trafford, assistant physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive for Covid-19 but, entire Indian squad tested negative for Covid-19 in the next round of testing.

The clouds were hovering over the fifth test as assistant physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive for Covid-19 but, there is relatively a great news for all cricket fans across the globe that Manchester Test is likely to go ahead as entire Indian squad Tested negative for Covid-19 on Thursday.

India and England were all set to play the final test of the ongoing five-match bilateral series tomorrow September 10, 2021. However, in a major development, member of India’s support staff and assistant physio Yogesh Parmar has been tested positive for Covid-19 resulting in the cancellation of team India’s final practice on Thursday. BCCI is waiting to receive the RT-PCR results and all players have been isolated. BCCI president Saurav Ganguly was quoted saying “We don’t know if the match will happen at the moment. Hopefully, we can get some game.”

Ravi Shashtri, Bharat Arun, R Sridhar Tested Covid-19 Positive

This is the fourth positive case in one week inside the Indian contingent with head coach Ravi Shastri and members of the support staff – Bharat Arun, R Sridhar and Nitin Patel all went into isolation during the fourth test match at the Oval. Parmar tested positive during the fresh round of testing on Wednesday evening after returning from practice and has been helping several players after the lead physio Nitin Patel went into isolation.

Meanwhile, the news has spread in the England camp like wildfire but England does not seem to be too perturbed with the latest developments. Jos Butler was quoted saying “All is well in our camp”. Additionally, Jos Buttler said “we don't know too much about it at the moment. It would be naive to speculate on what's going on. At the moment we're fully expecting the game to go ahead and we're preparing that way so fingers crossed the game will go ahead."

Bharat Arun, along with Wriddhiman Saha and Abhimanyu Eeshwaran were quarantined for 10 days before the start of the series in July when all three were identified to be in close contact with training assistant and net bowler Dayanand Garani who had tested positive for Covid 19 mid-July.

India has had their fair share of Covid cases in the last few months with Krunal Pandya testing positive after the first T20 while touring Sri Lanka which resulted in the isolation of 8 key players and India losing the T20 series 1-2. After that, Yuzvendra Chahal and K Gowtham were also tested positive and the three of them had to stay back in Sri Lanka under quarantine waiting for their negative test reports before they could fly back home.

All members of team India and the support staff went through another round of testing on Thursday morning and are awaiting results. If any member is tested positive, it will result in the cancellation of the fifth and final test match and could also affect the start of the IPL 2021 which is set to begin on September 19 with the opening match of the second leg between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians.

India Lead Series by 2-1

India currently leads the 5 match series 2-1 after winning the fourth test convincingly by 157 runs on the back of exceptional performances from Rohit Sharma and Shardul Thakur and some fiery pace bowling from Jasprit Bumrah and Umesh Yadav. The home team were ruthless in the third test-winning comfortably by 76 runs when they bundled the visitors for a mere 78 in the first innings while the rain-affected first test resulted in a draw.

India won the second Test at Lord’s by 151 runs bowling England out on the last day. Virat Kohli and his men now have a realistic chance of making history by winning their fourth-ever test series in England and their first in 14 years and reinforcing their position as one of the best Indian teams to tour overseas.


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