The series deciding final test between England and India was cancelled this morning of the match at Old Trafford.

The fifth LV= Insurance Test was due to get under way in Manchester at 11am but little more than two hours before the scheduled start a statement from the England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed the game would not be taking place.

The ECB initially said that India will “forfeit the match”, although that wording was removed in an updated version, suggesting negotiations between the respective boards remain ongoing.

Concerns over the viability of the fixture first appeared on the eve of the match, when India cancelled their final training session and failed to complete their mandatory press conference.

It later emerged that the squad was confined to its hotel after a new positive case was returned by one of their backroom team.

Cricket board issue statement

The revised ECB statement read: “Following ongoing conversations with the BCCI, the ECB can confirm that the fifth Test between England and India Men due to start today at Emirates Old Trafford, will be cancelled.

“Due to fears of a further increase in the number of COVID cases inside the camp, India are regrettably unable to field a team. We send our sincere apologies to fans and partners for this news, which we know will cause immense disappointment and inconvenience to many. Further information will be shared in due course.”

England completed their own pre-match preparations on Thursday, planning for business as usual. Vice-captain Jos Buttler acknowledged there was some uncertainty given India’s no show at the ground but was left hoping for the best.

“At present we’re fully expecting the game to go ahead and we’re preparing to play – fingers crossed the game will go ahead,” he said on Thursday.