England’s fifth Test with India cancelled, ECB confirms, after positive COVID-19 tests within India camp and fears over IPL

England’s fifth Test with India has been cancelled after a member of India’s staff tested positive for COVID-19.

The ECB confirmed on Friday morning the whole match is off, due to fears over a rise of COVID cases within the visitors’ camp.

The fifth Test is now in doubt

The member of India staff returned a positive test on the eve of the match, who was said to have been in contact with several of the India team.

India scrapped their final pre-match training session on Thursday, as well as their mandatory press conference, with the squad confined to their hotel rooms.

The threat to the match appeared to recede when the England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed on Wednesday evening that a fresh round of PCR tests had come back fully negative.

But it was reported that a number of players remained wary of taking the field, with their places in the Indian Premier League potentially at stake.

The match was set to start at 11am on Friday, with Old Trafford sold out and thousands of fans travelling up to Manchester and staying in hotels.

But the ECB confirmed two hours before the first ball on Friday that the fifth Test has now been cancelled, with India forfeiting the match.

An ECB statement read: “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 are unable to field a team and will regrettably instead forfeit the match. 

“We send our sincere apologies to fans and partners for this news, which we know will cause immense disappointment and inconvenience to many. 

“Further information will be shared in due course.”

This is a breaking news story. More updates will follow shortly.

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