After a lot of deliberation between the England Cricket Board (ECB) and Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials, the fifth Test at Old Trafford in Manchester was called off due to the threat of COVID-19 outbreak.
The visitors' camp was hit with the fourth COVID case when physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive on eve of the fifth match. Initially, a day’s play was only called off but afterwards both boards came to a mutual agreement of not playing the game.
While many speculated the BCCI might have cancelled the Old Trafford game due to the Indian Premier League (IPL), the ECB denied the same and said India values Test cricket and cancellation of the 5th Test has nothing to do with IPL. The second half of the 14th edition of IPL is set to begin on September 19.
Former England player Michael Vaughan feels that Indian-bound IPL players were worried about testing positive before the resumption of the UAE leg. But ECB chief executive Tom Harrison has dismissed the allegations made by Vaughan.
"This is not a situation which has been created by the rescheduled IPL ... That's not the case. This Indian cricket team are as passionate about Test cricket as fans in our country are and as our cricket team are as well," Harrison told BBC Sport.
"India simply felt that they got to a point where they weren't able to take to the field. That is understandable.”
Harrison further opined during these tough times of pandemic, mental health and wellbeing are paramount and the visitors might have been jaded by a four-month-long tour. India has been in the United Kingdom since June.
"As administrators, we need to be really clear that mental health has to be a priority for us when we're thinking about the length of tours and the conditions under which people were expected to perform."
India currently lead the five-match Test series 2-1 and talks for rescheduling the fifth Test has begun between the boards.