New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly is expected to meet England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Chief executive Tom Harrison and Chairman Ian Whatmore to discuss the modalities of the one-off match next year during a personal visit to the UK from September 22.

According to news agency PTI, Sourav Ganguly will meet with ECB representatives and the official broadcasters to try and resolve the situation as both parties are set to lose a huge amount of money due to the cancellation of the 5th and final Test of the series between England and India.

A COVID-19 outbreak that triggered "anxiety" among Indian players forced the cancellation of their fifth and final Test against England in a chaotic and unprecedented turn of events on Friday, leaving the status of the series unclear after the host board claimed a forfeiture by the tourists only to withdraw the statement.

The England and Wales Cricket Board's statement on the match went from India "unable to field a team and will instead forfeit the match" to India "regrettably unable to field a team" after skipper Virat Kohli led a steadfast refusal by the visiting players to take the field.

Friday's development came after the tourists were left on tenterhooks following physio Yogesh Parmar's positive COVID-19 test that led to concerns that the infection could spread during the match. As for the series, its status was not clear.

India is 2-1 ahead and has not been officially declared winners. The BCCI has claimed that both boards will work towards rescheduling the match but ECB CEO Tom Harrison said the game would be a one-off instead of being a decider for the series.

"In lieu of the strong relationship between BCCI and ECB, the BCCI has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled Test match. Both the Boards will work towards finding a window to reschedule this Test match," BCCI secretary Jay Shah said.

"No, I think it's a stand-alone situation. We have been offered a few other options, probably need to take a look (at those)," Harrison responded when specifically asked on Sky Sports whether the rescheduled match would be a stand-alone game or the series-decider. The only plausible window for such an arrangement seems to be July next year when the India team visits England for a six-match white-ball series.

It is learnt that Kohli, who voiced his apprehension most strongly, and the players, late on Thursday, got into a huddle and couldn't be convinced by either the BCCI or the ECB brass to play the game. They also feared that a COVID-related quarantine at this stage would have meant missing out on IPL matches, starting September 19.

 

(With PTI Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan