ENG v IND 2021: Start of fifth Test at Manchester pushed back; Indian players not comfortable playing- Reports

The fifth and final Test between England and India will not begin on Friday as scheduled, and a final decision on whether and when the match will begin is awaited. This comes after an intense round of discussions between ECB and BCCI.

ESPNCricinfo understands more than one India player had expressed concerns about taking the field in talks between the BCCI and the team management over the last two days. The entire India squad tested negative for COVID-19 on Thursday after assistant physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive on Wednesday.

Cricbuzz also reported that Indian players have expressed apprehension over playing the game at Old Trafford and have written to the Board of Control for Cricket in India and the start of play has been postponed by a day.

Whether the match will begin tomorrow, get canceled, or be postponed further remains uncertain for now. Although there is no indication of the Test being called off, concerns were expressed on the health issues as well as the readiness for the Indian Premier League (IPL), which is going to start in less than 10 days.

It has to be mentioned that reportedly ECB had asked BCCI that the Indian team should forfeit the match if they don’t want to play it which didn’t sit well with the Indian board as that would mean the series will end in a draw. However, as per World Test Championship playing conditions, in case of COVID and other complications, if a Test cannot be played, it is considered as an abandoned match and not a forfeit.