The fifth Test between England and India was called off after the visitors’ camp was hit by a COVID-19 scare as assistant physio Yogesh Parmar tested positive for the virus on eve of the match. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have offered the England Cricket Board (ECB) to reschedule the game. The ECB is set to incur huge financial losses if the match is not played.
Former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has welcomed BCCI’s move and said they should never forget England’s gesture of returning back for the tour, which was halted due to the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in 2008.
"This is fantastic news coming that the BCCI will make up for it. This is exactly what the relations between boards should be."
"Yes, I think that (rescheduling the cancelled Test) would be the correct thing to do. Look, we, in India, should never forget what the England team did in 2008 after the horrific attack, the 26/11. They came back," Gavaskar told the official broadcaster of the series Sony Sports.
"They would have been perfectly entitled to say 'we don't feel safe. We are not coming back'."
Both boards are keenly working towards finding a window to play the fifth Test. If reports are to be believed, the match could be played when India tour England in July next year to play a limited-overs series. Gavaskar too voiced his opinion in favour of playing the cancelled Old Trafford Test next year.
"It's absolutely apt that the BCCI now says, right next year, we are still coming to England. I think there will be a little lean period. I think the IPL will finish in early June. So there is enough time for them to go a few days early, depending on whether we still have Covid and all the restrictions and maybe play a Test match before or after," Gavaskar said.
The seven-match series between England and India was cut short to 5 matches after the deadly terror attacks in Mumbai. The England team headed back home before returning to play the Test series, which India won 1-0.