The fifth and final Test between England and India scheduled to be held at Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester has been called off on Friday due to COVID-19 fears in the visitors camp.

The development comes after the Indian cricket team’s assistant physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar tested COVID-19 positive on Wednesday.

“Following ongoing conversations with the BCCI, the ECB can confirm that the fifth Test between England and India due to start today at Emirates Old Trafford, will be cancelled,” the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) issued an official statement a few hours before the start of the Manchester Test. 

“Due to fears of a further increase in the number of COVID cases inside the camp, India are regrettably unable to field a team. 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,” the ECB added.

According to ESPNcricinfo, several Indian cricketers expressed their concerns after Parmar came in close contact with most of the players.

However, the entire visitors camp returned with negative COVID-19 tests on Thursday and results of the second RT-PCR tests were still awaited.

Earlier during the fourth Test, India had suffered a massive setback after head Ravi Shastri tested positive for COVID-19. This forced the BCCI medical staff to isolate three other members of his support staff - bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar, and physiotherapist Nitin Patel - as a precautionary measure.

With the cancellation of the fifth Test, the five-match series has ended 2-1 in favour of the Virat Kohli-led Indian side.

Featured photo: Twitter/BCCI