Manchester (England) | Jagran Sports Desk: The fifth and final Test between India and England, which was scheduled to be played at the Old Trafford in Manchester from September 10, has been cancelled after the Indian team's physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive for the highly contagious COVID-19 infection, confirmed the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

"Due to fears of a further increase in the number of COVID cases inside the camp, India are regrettably unable to field a team," the ECB said in a statement. "We send our sincere apologies to fans and partners for this news, which we know will cause immense disappointment and inconvenience to many".

Earlier on Thursday, Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly had also raised questions over the possibility of conducting the match, saying he was "unsure" about it. "We don't know if match will happen at the moment. Hopefully we can get some game," he said.

Later, a report by news agency PTI claimed that a "senior Indian player" had also shown his reservation ahead of the fifth and final Test in Manchester. Quoting sources, PTI reported that India will likely select Suryakumar Yadav or Hanuma Vihari in the playing XI if the "reluctant senior player" decides to sit out.

Meanwhile, this is the third time during this England tour when COVID-19 cases were reported in the Indian camp. During the fourth Test at The Oval in London, India's head coach Ravi Shastri and bowling coach Bharath Arun had tested positive for the pathogen. Before Shastri and Arun, Indian wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant had tested positive for the Delta Variant of COVID-19.

Pant then had to face the wrath of the fans and cricket experts as he was seen attending Euro Cup and Wimbledon Championship games without a facemask. However, Ganguly had defended Pant, saying it is "impossible to wear a mask all the time". "We have seen Euro Championship and Wimbledon in England. Rules have changed. They were on leave and it's physically impossible to wear a mask all the time," Ganguly had said while speaking to News18.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma