England-India agree to series decider at Edgbaston after fifth-Test postponement

The postponed fifth Test between England and India will be played at Edgbaston from July 1-5 next year in 2022, rather than at Emirates Old Trafford, and will also determine the series’ outcome, with India leading the series 2-1 after victories at Lord’s and The Kia Oval.

After India’s players withdrew from the original fixture in September, citing fears about a Covid-19 outbreak within their camp, the ECB and the BCCI held extensive conversations. A substantial reworking of England’s summer schedule has been arranged in order to fulfil the fixture and match the rules of the ECB’s broadcasting deal with Sky.

Due to concerts by the Foo Fighters and Red Hot Chili Peppers at Old Trafford during the India Test window, the venue will now host the second Test against South Africa, which was initially scheduled for Edgbaston and will begin on August 25. Furthermore, the white-ball series between England and India will now begin six days later than intended, with Edgbaston hosting a T20I on July 9 instead of the ODI that had been scheduled for that date.

The ECB’s chief executive, Tom Harrison, said: “We are thrilled to have achieved an arrangement with BCCI to bring a fitting conclusion to what has been a fantastic series thus far. All of the venues involved have been quite cooperative in allowing us to reschedule this event, and I appreciate their efforts. I’d also like to express my gratitude to Cricket South Africa for their cooperation and understanding in making these adjustments feasible. We’d like to apologise to fans once more for the inconvenience and disappointment caused by the September events. We realise it was a day that many have anticipated for a long time.”

“We recognise that adding this extra match to the white ball series will result in a tighter timetable. We’ll continue to look after our players’ well-being and workloads throughout the year, while simultaneously looking for the best schedule for fans, players, and partners across the game.”

“I am glad that the England-India Test series will now have its deserved finish,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah said. The four Test matches were thrilling, and a fitting conclusion was required. The BCCI respects the traditional form of the game, as well as its role and responsibilities to fellow board members. Both the BCCI and the ECB have been in conversations for the past two months, and our efforts have been focused on finding an appropriate window. I appreciate the ECB’s patience and understanding in working out a solution.”