The fifth and final Test between England and India, due to begin on Friday (October 10), has been cancelled after some Indian players expressed reservations about taking the field after assistant physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar tested positive for COVID-19.

The England and Wales Cricket Board issued a statement saying, “Following continued discussions with the BCCI, the ECB can confirm that the fifth LV= Insurance Test between England and India Men, scheduled to begin today at Emirates Old Trafford, will be cancelled.”

India is adamant about not modifying the match’s schedule since it will have a significant impact on forthcoming IPL matches. However, until the official word is received, it is unclear if the match will take place on Saturday or Sunday.

In the interim, it was also rumoured that England had requested a walkover in the last game so that the series would end at 2-2. However, after consulting with top Indian players, it was determined that no walkover would be granted and that the game would be played. Many predicted that Ashwin will get a chance at least once in the series because of the fresh addition for the fifth match. His absence was also questioned in the most recent game, when Virat Kohli stated that they went with Jadeja to keep the right-hand and left-hand combinations intact.

The main source of concern is who from the Indian squad made contact with Yogesh Parmar, an Indian physiotherapist. The huge issue for India was that Parmar had stepped up from assistant to be the team’s main physio after lead physio Nitin Patel was designated a close contact of Shastri after a round of testing on Wednesday evening.

During the Oval Test and at Manchester, Parmar treated a number of players, including Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, and Ishant Sharma. Indian players have been relocated to a separate floor and into a bio-bubble at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester. They will remain in the bubble until the Test is completed, after which they will fly to the UAE for the IPL 2021.