Virat Kohli speaks out on England v India postponement

India captain Virat Kohli has called the postponement of the fifth Test between England and India last week as “unfortunate”.

The Test, which was due to be held at Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester, was postponed on Friday morning, just two hours before it was scheduled to begin.

Discussions between the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) led to the decision.

It was reported by the Daily Telegraph that the Indian players sent a letter to the BCCI around midnight on Friday. It read that they would not play the game due to Covid-19 concerns.

India assistant physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar tested positive for the virus on Thursday. The team’s players were told to stay in their hotel rooms as a result.

That followed on from India coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar all testing positive during the fourth Test at The Oval.

With the Indian Premier League – which many of the India Test squad are competing in – beginning on September 19, any player who tested positive would have had to stay in Manchester and miss the start of the tournament.

Kohli on Test postponement

Kohli, who captains the Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise, has landed in the United Arab Emirates prior to the IPL getting underway.

Speaking to Royal Challengers Bangalore social media, Kohli said on the postponement of the Test match: “Unfortunate how we had to end up here early, but with Covid in place things are very uncertain so anything can happen at any time.

“Hopefully, we are able to maintain a good, strong, secure environment and have a quality IPL and onto the World Cup.”

During the Test series, Kohli scored 218 runs at an average of 31.14 – the fifth-highest of anyone in the series.

He captained India to famous victories at both Lord’s and The Oval, meaning that his side led the series 2-1 going into the final Test at Old Trafford.

England and India have not yet come to an agreement about the outcome of the fifth Test – although one option is that it could be played in 2022.

In the short-term at least, the postponement will heavily affect Lancashire, whose home ground is Old Trafford.

Lancashire chief executive Daniel Gidney told Sky Sports (via Cricinfo) on Friday: “How big are our losses? We’re talking about significant sums here.

“We’re talking over seven figures. It’s multimillions of pounds. It’s very challenging. We will need to work with the ECB and others to support us through this.

“My primary concern is everyone who has bought a ticket. I don’t think any of us had an inkling the game would be cancelled this morning.”

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