"A few years back the nation wanted to know 'Why did Katappa kill Bahubali?' And now in 2021 another question arises What happened 'o the Manchester Test?" joked a former BCCI official when asked about his reaction to the confusion over whether the India and England final Test was abandoned, forfeited or postponed?
To date, no exact details of the series or the final Test have been given either by the Indian cricket board (BCCI) or the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB)
However, there is a lot of speculation since then. And the latest one is that the ECB has now written to the world cricket governing body, ICC, to decide the fate of the cancelled fifth Test at Old Trafford; further indicating that the two cricket boards are far from settling the issue.
The series-deciding Manchester encounter was called off after a Covid-19 outbreak in the Indian camp; forcing its senior players to express their apprehensions to both the BCCI and ECB on going ahead with the match.
A former BCCI official on condition of anonymity told IANS that it seems both the boards came to the conclusion to""cancel" the match in a lackadaisical manner.
"They met, discussed what? Nothing. Just cancel it (final Test)! No plans, what and when will it take place? I can understand that the BCCI would not be thinking anything other than the IPL at that time, but what about the ECB? What were they thinking?
"They (ECB) also changed their statement twice. First, they mentioned that Indian players forfeited the match and then removed it later. Why so confused?" he added.
Even former England captain Michael Vaughan had said the Manchester Test was cancelled because players were petrified of catching Covid and missing the IPL, scheduled to begin from September 19 in UAE.
It is now learned that the ECB wants the ICC's Dispute Resolution Committee to address the issue and expect that a forfeiture would be granted so that they can claim insurance as they are going to lose approximately 40 million pounds if the match is declared abandoned due to Covid-19 and India will win the series 2-1.
But if England gets a forfeiture as per the DRC ruling, it will be a 2-2 verdict and the host nation can also claim insurance. The ECB going to the ICC prov's that there hasn't been an amicable settlement yet on the issue as the host board stares at losses.
The Indian cricketers have already reached Dubai from Manchester to participate in the second leg of the IPL.
Despite several calls, the BCCI officials were unavailable to comment on the matter.