5th Test cancelled: ECB CEO Harrison rubbishes IPL conspiracy, cites India players fatigue after bubble life

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The fifth Test between India and England at Old Trafford, which was scheduled to begin on Friday (September 10), was cancelled amid Coronavirus scare in India camp hours before the start. Harrison also denied the rumours that India cricketers did not want to play the Test because of the approaching IPL 2021, scheduled for a September 19 start in the UAE.

“It’s been a long night. It’s just really sad,” Harrison told BBC.

“You can’t be flippant about issues of mental health, and this is what this is about. India have been wonderful tourists, but they have been here for a long time.

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“Playing at this level, week after week, is difficult. Even if we feel we are emerging from the pandemic, life is different for the players. When Covid creeps into an environment, it can accelerate very quickly,” he said.

Harrison hoped that the Test can be played at some other time but agreed that it will not have the same charm of playing after a four brilliantly fought Test matches.

“Hopefully we can get this Test on some other time, but it won’t be the same as it having the conclusion after four brilliant matches. The BCCI, this India team and their captain want to make their mark in Test cricket. I don’t think the IPL should worry people who feel there is an agenda is at place here.

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“I was on the phone all night. Once those fears creep in they can be very hard to shift. There are no winners in this one. I can tell you that 100% the BCCI wanted to get this game on.

“There is a strong relationship between the ECB and BCCI. We will definitely come through this, probably even stronger than we went in,” he added.

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