James Anderson 'gutted' at late cancellation of England's final Test

James Anderson left ‘gutted’ at England’s final Test with India at Old Trafford being abandoned at the 11th hour and says he hopes ‘to play another international game at my home ground I love so much’

  • England’s fifth Test against India was called off shortly before the start on Friday
  • Anderson said it was a blow for fans who had spent money on tickets and travel 
  • England fast bowler hopes to play another Test at Old Trafford before retiring
  • Manchester not scheduled to host any of England’s six Tests next summer
  • BCCI has offered to play fifth Test next year but decision is yet to be taken 

England fast bowler James Anderson admitted he was ‘gutted’ for the fans after the deciding Test match of the series against India was abruptly cancelled last week.

The fifth Test of the series was due to begin at Old Trafford last week, but was called off just two hours before the scheduled start amid Covid concerns when India’s physiotherapist Yogesh Parma became the fourth member of their backroom staff to test positive. 

India players had all returned negative PCR tests on Thursday raising hopes the Test would go ahead as scheduled with England looking to square the series and the hosts on the brink of a first series win in England since 2007.

The decider, however, was canceled at the 11th hour and Anderson admitted players and fans were equally disappointed.

James Anderson said he was ‘gutted’ for fans who had spent money on tickets and travel

The late cancellation of the fifth Test is expected to leave a £40m hole in the ECB’s coffers

‘It’s such a shame the summer of international cricket ended this way,’ England’s all-time leading wicket-taker wrote on Instagram.

‘I’m gutted for everyone at Lancashire Cricket Club, for the fans who paid for tickets/trains/hotels, for both sets of supporters that wanted to see the finish this series deserved.

‘I hope it will be played again at some point and I hope I will get to play another international game at my home ground that I love so much.’

The BCCI has offered to reschedule the final Test to 2022 but a decision hasn’t been taken yet

England are due to play two three-Test series against New Zealand and South Africa next summer, with India due to return in July 2022 for six white-ball matches and the BCCI has already suggested the fifth Test could be played then.

That, however, could prove a logistical nightmare for the ECB as there’s only a 16-day gap in England’s schedule next summer and that window has been reserved for The Hundred. 

Should rescheduling the Test not be feasible, it would fall to the International Cricket Council (ICC) to determine the outcome of the series with the ECB expect to push for a forfeiture, which would result in a 2-2 draw.

If the Test can’t be rescheduled to next summer, Anderson will have to wait at least until 2023 to play what would in all likelihood be his final Test at Old Trafford as Manchester isn’t scheduled to host any of England’s red ball matches next year. 

By then, the Lancastrian, who took 15 wickets at 23.66 apiece in the first four Tests of the series against India, will be 41. 

Anderson took 15 wickets in the series against India at 24.66 apiece 

Anderson may have to wait until 2023, when he will be 41, to play another Test at Old Trafford

Meanwhile, the furore surrounding the fifth Test shows no signs of abating after former England captain Michael Vaughan claimed it was cancelled to avoid jeopardizing Indian players’ participation in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The lucrative Twenty20 tournament resumes in the UAE on September 19 and IPL bosses have imposed a strict six-day quarantine on arrivals from the UK. 

‘IPL teams chartering planes..6 days quarantining required in the UAE..7 days till the tournament starts!!! Don’t tell me the Test was cancelled for any other reason but the IPL..,’ Vaughan tweeted.

Mumbai Indians stars Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah and Suryakumar Yadav were pictured arriving in Abu Dhabi on Saturday after boarding chartered planes. 

Several other Indian and English players with Royal Challengers Bangalore and Chennai Super Kings also flew out late on Saturday.

Michael Vaughan suggested the Test had been called off because of quarantine in the UAE

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said the Test was canceled on mental health grounds

They included India captain Virat Kohli, who like his teammates began his quarantine shortly after arriving in the UAE and will be free to play by the time the IPL returns on Sunday.

That would have not been possible had the fifth Test, which was scheduled to finish on Tuesday, had gone ahead. 

ECB chief executive Tom Harrison, however, insisted the Test had been cancelled on mental health grounds. 

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