England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) chief executive Tom Harrison has apologised to fans who had purchased tickets for the cancelled 5th Test between India and England set to get underway from Friday in Manchester.
A couple of hours before the contest was to start, a press release from ECB stated that the match will not go ahead after ‘India are unable to field a team’ citing covid fears in their camp.
“A huge amount has happened over the last 24 hours, and from one cricket lover to another I want to say how sorry I am for all the inconvenience caused by the cancellation of this Test match," Harrison said in a statement on Friday.
“We were all looking forward to what promised to be the culmination of this brilliant Test Series, and I’m so disappointed at not being able to get the match played. I have heard many stories today of people who planned for months or saved hard during this pandemic to have a special day out with friends and family. To not see that happen is hard to take," it added.
BCCI and ECB were locked in intense meetings on Thursday and Friday to find a solution ranging from a deffered start to the series finale to rescheduling. In the end, the match was postponed indefinitely with Harrison now saying that the board is now trying to get it a slot next summer.
“Today’s news will have been so frustrating, especially given the short notice. Please know that we worked through the night to find solutions and avoid this outcome," he said.
“Refunds to ticket holders will be issued shortly, and although this will be no consolation to many, we will try to reschedule this long-awaited Emirates Old Trafford Test next summer," he added.
India were leading the five-match series 2-1.