The fifth and final match of the England vs India five-match Test series was called off due to the outbreak of COVID-19 among the support staff of Team India. The news was made official just hours before the toss with Virat Kohli's Team India leading the series 2-1. Despite Manchester Test getting cancelled, Sourav Ganguly has said that the five-day format is BCCI's top priority.
Speaking to PTI Sourav Ganguly said that going ahead there would be concrete "medical advice" on offer that would allow series to go on even with COVID cases within the team. The BCCI president said,
"Because we understand how detrimental it is to the game in terms of spectators and viewers' interest (TV and OTT) especially when the series has been of such high quality. Test cricket is BCCI's foremost priority."
As per the report, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has written to the ICC seeking a Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) verdict on the fate of the cancelled match that was to be played at Old Trafford, Manchester. The ICC is yet to comment on the matter. A forfeiture will allow the ECB to get insurance reimbursement of 40 million pounds that, it claims, would help offset its losses because of the cancellation.
With India on the verge of winning a series in England after a very long time, the BCCI president said that he wanted the series to finish. Speaking about the incompletion of the England vs India series after the cancellation of the England vs India 5th Test, Ganguly said, "We want the series to be completed as this will be our first series win (in England) since 2007. The BCCI maintains that Test cricket is the ultimate format and we won't compromise it for anything."
Sourav Ganguly also added that the BCCI is "disappointed" that the match was called off but it could not have pushed the worried players beyond a point. He added "We are extremely disappointed that this series had to be called off. The only reason is COVID-19 outbreak and players' safety. We could only push them to a point. But the pandemic is so severe that one can only go that much distance."