Old Trafford May Miss Out On Hosting The Rescheduled 5th Test Between England And India

Old Trafford May Miss Out On Hosting The Rescheduled 5th Test Between England And India

Manchester Test: The message on the scoreboard after the fifth Test was called off PA Photos/Getty Images
Manchester Test: The message on the scoreboard after the fifth Test was called off PA Photos/Getty Images

Old Trafford cricket stadium in Manchester could miss out on hosting the rescheduled Test between England and India next due to scheduling conflicts.

Reports suggest that the rescheduled Test could be taking place at the same time as England’s white-ball matches against South Africa.

Old Trafford Cricket Ground
Old Trafford Cricket Ground (Photo | AP)

Old Trafford May Not Be The Venue For The Rescheduled Test

The fifth Test match between England and India was cancelled in Manchester in early September. The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the Test match. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the game.

“An agreement in principle has been reached with India over completing the aborted series next year, after the tourists refused to play at the 11th hour last month due to concerns over Covid. However, the deciding Test will take place elsewhere due to scheduling issues at Old Trafford,” said a report on Thursday.

India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
India vs England (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
In the four matches prior to the Manchester Test fixture at Old Trafford, India had led the series 2-1. The opening Test at Trent Bridge was drawn before India won the next clash at Lord’s. England inflicted India an innings defeat in the third Test at Headingley, but the visitors rallied to win the fourth Test at the Oval.

Lancashire Unable To Commit To Put The Test In The Narrow Window Available

County cricket side Lancashire had reportedly lost more than one million pounds through hospitality income when the fifth and last Test between England and India was cancelled.

The final Test was called off just two hours before the start of play due to a COVID-19 outbreak scare in the Indian camp after assistant physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar tested positive. However, it is understood that they have opened talks with the ECB about receiving compensation, which will be forthcoming.

“It is understood Lancashire were unable to commit to putting on the Test in the narrow window available. Old Trafford is already due to host a one-day international between England and South Africa on July 24 while the Old Trafford club are also expected to stage several gigs next summer. While the ECB have yet to finalise a date with their Indian counterparts, it is likely there will be some overlap between the Test match and England’s one-day series against South Africa,” further said the report.

India vs England
India vs England- Image Credit: Twitter

India is scheduled to tour England for three ODIs and as many T20Is from July 1 to 14. England’s home series against South Africa begins on July 19. After the series concludes on July 31, it will be immediately followed by the second edition of the Hundred.

With a limited time period for the match to take place and an ODI game between South Africa-England set to take place in Manchester on 24th June, and various music gigs scheduled to take, Lancashire has refused to commit to hosting the game. Although the two boards have agreed to play a rescheduled Test match, there is still no clarity on whether that match will be the series’ fifth match or a stand-alone event.

Both teams are awaiting the International Cricket Council‘s (ICC) verdict on the implication of the postponed game on the WTC. It remains to be seen whether India will be forced to forfeit the game, or the game will be counted as abandoned, or whether ICC allows the fifth game to be played next year.  If the series ends as thing stands now, India will be declared winners by a 2-1 margin.

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