London, Sept. 10: The fifth England-India Test at Emirates Old Trafford was cancelled after some of the tourists' backroom staff tested positive for Covid-19.
India was unable to field a team because they fear further cases spreading through the squad. The England and Wales Cricket Board said: "We send our sincere apologies to fans and partners for this news." "We know it will cause immense disappointment and inconvenience to many."
The ECB statement initially said that India, who led the series 2-1, had forfeited the final Test and the series was drawn 2-2. The statement has since been amended to say: "India are regrettably unable to field a team."
The final result is unclear.
The Test was cancelled around two hours before it was due to start at Emirates Old Trafford
Head coach Ravi Shastri tested positive during India's fourth Test win, forcing bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach Ramakrishnan Sridhar and physiotherapist Nitin Pate to isolate.
Another member of the backroom staff tested positive on Thursday.
India cancelled Thursday's training session, but a subsequent round of testing showed no positive results among players and it was declared that the Test would go ahead as planned.
However, the announcement to cancel the match was made just over two hours before it was due to begin at 11:00 BST on Friday.
Although England rescheduled all their home fixtures in 2020, this is the first home men's international to be cancelled since the beginning of the pandemic.
England postponed three one-day internationals in South Africa in December because of coronavirus fears.
Any attempt to reschedule the fifth Test would have been complicated by the Indian Premier League, which will resume on 19 September.
The tournament, originally played in India, was postponed in May and begins again in the United Arab Emirates.