The Old Trafford Test was called off a few hours before the start of the match on Friday, September 10. After head coach Ravi Shastri and two others tested positive during the fourth Test, on Wednesday, physio Yogesh Parmar also tested positive. Following this, Indian players became apprehensive and refused to take the field for the final Test.
If the match is considered cancelled by ICC's Dispute Resolution Committee (DRC) under COVID allowances in ICC rules, the result will be declared null and void and the series will stay as a four-Test affair. India would thus be declared winners 2-1. On the other hand, if DRC concludes that India forfeited the match, England will be declared winners and the series will end 2-2.
The ICC playing conditions for WTC state, "Any matches that do not take place due to the Acceptable Non-Compliance of one or both Parties (as defined in the World Test Championship Competition Terms) shall not be taken into account in the calculation of the Points Percentage."
The match is likely to be rescheduled for next summer. Tom Harrison, ECB CEO, however stated that the new fixture will be seen as a standalone match. In that case, the Test will not be part of the World Test Championship.
Harrison also said that, according to them, the Test was not cancelled due to COVID but owing to fears related to COVID in the Indian camp. "This is not a COVID cancellation. The match was cancelled because of serious concerns over the mental health and well-being of one of the teams and there is a difference... We have the ICC adjudicate over whether this series is completed now, whether that fifth match is null and void or whether it's actually regarded as a forfeiture or something else," Harrison revealed after the developments on Friday.
--By A Cricket Correspondent