India are set to play England in a one-off Test next summer. The news was confirmed by the Board of Control for Cricket in IndiaÂ (BCCI) and theÂ England & Wales Cricket BoardÂ (ECB) recently.
According to a report published by a leading media house, it is not clear whether the Test will be part of the five-match series, which India leads 2-1. The fifth Test of the series, earlier this month, had to be cancelled after a COVID-19 outbreak in the Indian camp.
IndiaÂ are scheduled to tour England next summer to play three ODIs and as many T20Is. Earlier, it was reported that two T20Is might make way for a one-off Test. However, it has now been revealed that a Test will be played in that period without affecting the schedule of the T20I series.
Whether this test match will be a part of recent test series is unclear
It is unclear whether the Test match will be a part of the recent series between the two nations. But the five-day game will help the ECB avert the financial losses it would have suffered had the Test not been staged.
The fifth Test of the Pataudi Trophy was set to take place between September 10-14. However, it was abandoned on the morning of the first day after the tourists expressed their reluctance to take the field following a COVID-19 outbreak in their camp.
It all started with head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar and physio Nitin testing positive for the virus during the Oval Test. Matters escalated further on the eve of the fifth Test when junior physio Parmar also tested positive for COVID-19.
With Parmar being in close contact with most of the Indian players, a sense of fear and anxiety engulfed the Indian camp. While none of the players tested positive, there was a pervading sense of fear that they might contract it after the incubation period was over. We must also note here that the players were travelling with their families. That set the ball rolling for the eventual abandonment of the Test, and the senior players expressed the same to the BCCI.
The BCCI conveyed that to their English counterparts. The ECB reportedly insisted that India forfeit the Test match, which the BCCI refused to do so.
If the Test had been forfeited, it would have made the ECB eligible to claim for losses from their Indian counterparts.
The BCCI has instead offered the ECB a one-off Test and two additional T20Is during the 2022 summer, provided the Test won’t be a part of the current series.