England and Wales Cricket Board writes to ICC on outcome of cancelled fifth Test against India

The ECB wants the ICC to address the issue and expect that a forfeiture would be granted so they can claim insurance as they are going to lose 40 million pounds if the match is declared abandoned.

Published: 12th September 2021 10:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 13th September 2021 08:50 AM   |  A+A-

India's Virat Kohli smiles as he leaves the pitch after India beat England by 157 runs on day five of the fourth Test match at The Oval cricket ground in London.

India's Virat Kohli smiles as he leaves the pitch after India beat England by 157 runs on day five of the fourth Test match at The Oval cricket ground in London. (Photo | AP)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: As expected, the fate of the Manchester Test, which was cancelled after India players refused to play in the wake of a Covid-19 scare in the camp, has reached the doors of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Saturday wrote to the ICC, asking it to step in after the ECB failed to reach an agreement with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). 

The contentious point is that while BCCI believes the Covid scare in the camp is good enough reason for the match to be considered cancelled under the World Test Championship playing conditions, the ECB wants the Test to be considered forfeited.

This would mean that the ECB can get insurance cover. It cannot get insurance cover if Covid is cited as a factor for the cancellation of the Test.

Since there were no positive cases among the Indian players, ECB’s chief executive Tom Harrison cited the mental well-being of the Indian players as the primary reason and this, the English board believes, will help them push their case with the ICC.

Although the BCCI has offered to play the cancelled Test next summer and has also proposed to play two additional T20Is, the ECB has decided to put the ball in ICC’s court.

The matter will be taken up for discussion by the dispute resolution committee of the ICC, which has to decide if the match was cancelled for acceptable non-compliance reasons or not. If it rules in India’s favour, it would mean that Virat Kohli & Co win the series 2-1.

If not, the series will end 2-2. It is understood that the BCCI’s offer to play the additional match will now be put on hold until ICC’s decision as there are indications that in case the ruling goes against India, then they won’t play the Test next year as ECB would anyway be making up the losses.

According to those in the BCCI, the cordial relationship between the boards hasn’t changed and they view ECB’s position as one taken out of compulsion to save their face.

That said, the BCCI will also present its case in front of the ICC as it believes four Covid-positive cases in the group were a cause of concern and the result of one RT-PCR test wasn’t enough.

The ECB has also asked the ICC to initiate the process at the earliest.  

The dispute resolution committee is led by Michael Beloff, who will hear the case. The panel’s decision would be final and there is no room for the involvement of the ICC board.


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