The BCCI, in a statement released on their website on Friday morning, has declared that they have offered to play a re-scheduled version of the cancelled fifth Test match against England, owing to the “strong relationship” between the two boards. The statement thanked the ECB for their “co-operation” and apologised to the fans being deprived of both their tickets and the opportunity to watch a thrilling series reach its climax at the ground and on television.
The so-called strong relationship between the BCCI and ECB will be greatly tested over the coming weeks, with both still contesting the nature of the result of the fifth Test. The cancellation of the game came due to India’s players feeling uncomfortable about playing after their physio tested positive. All players tested negative on Friday morning but had fears after coming into inevitably close contact with Yogesh Parmar. There has been speculation over the impending IPL’s influence on individual decisions.
Because of the visitors’ refusal to play, the initial ECB statement on the game claimed that it had been “forfeited” by Team India, which would result in the series ending as a 2-2 draw. That choice of word was then retracted, being changed to “cancelled” and “called off”. Such, it would seem, indicates that the series will finish 2-1 if it is to continue no further.
The ECB will no doubt be hugely distressed by the decision of India’s players given the financial impact it will clearly have, and potentially angered by the away side’s head coach Ravi Shastri, who subsequently tested positive, attending the COVID-insecure launch of his new book in London. The offer for a re-scheduling from the BCCI seems an attempt to keep the peace with these events in mind. According to The Telegraph, insurance will only be received should India officially forfeit the match, an evidently unlikely circumstance and an issue still to be resolved.