India cancel eve of Test training session amid new Covid case report

Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) –


India have cancelled a training session on the eve of the fifth Test against England in Manchester starting Friday amid reports another member of their support staff has tested positive for Covid-19.

"It was an optional session," said an India team spokesman on Thursday. "Won't take place now."

His comments followed media reports of a fresh Covid case within India's backroom staff, with the latest case emerging after a fresh round of testing on Wednesday evening. The team had trained as scheduled on Wednesday morning.

India head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach Ramakrishnan Sridhar had already been ruled out of being present at the series finale at Old Trafford after testing positive for Covid-19 during India's 157-run in the fourth Test at the Oval completed Monday that left them 2-1 up with one to play.

The Indian players have been ordered to stay in their hotel rooms following the latest positive case, according to Thursday's media reports.

The identity of the latest support staff member to reportedly test positive has yet to be revealed.

The Indian Express newspaper said that after talking to the players, the Board of Control for Cricket in India does not want the fifth Test to go ahead.

The Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament resumes in United Arab Emirates on September 19 and the board did not want the cash-rich event to be "impacted", the report said.