Veteran India spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who had missed the flight to England after testing positive for Covid-19, on Thursday joined India’s Test team in Leicestershire ahead of the much-anticipated rescheduled 5th Test against England, scheduled to be held in Edgbaston from July 1.
Although there hasn’t been any formal announcement by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) about Ashwin’s arrival in England, the pictures shared by the board’s official Twitter handle ahead of the first day of the team’s warm-up against Leicestershire confirmed the development.
In the picture shared by the board, the veteran spinner was seen in the team huddle at Leicestershire County Club Ground.
Team India led by Rohit Sharma is currently playing their four-day practice match against Leicestershire. The warm-up game is the only practise match for the touring party before the one-off Edgbaston Test against hosts England, which was originally postponed last year due to a Covid outbreak in the Indian camp.
Earlier, Jayant Yadav was kept as a standby if Ashwin had failed to recover in time and the Haryana spinner was called to the NCA in Bangalore. However, that option was later ruled out as Ashwin had recovered fully from the deadly virus.
Notably in 2021, the Indian team had declined to play the fifth and final Test of the series follwoing a Covid-19 scare in their dressing room. The then head coach Ravi Shastri and team physiotherapist too had got infected and as a result, the touring party didn’t wanted to play the game.
Later, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah had said that it was a joint decision with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to cancel the fifth Test.
“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) along with the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have jointly decided to call off the 5th Test Match scheduled at Manchester in ongoing India’s tour of England 2021. The BCCI and ECB held several rounds of discussion to find a way to play the Test Match, however, the outbreak of Covid-19 in the Indian team contingent forced the decision of calling off the Old Trafford Test Match. In lieu of the strong relationship between BCCI and ECB, the BCCI has offered to ECB a rescheduling of the cancelled Test match. Both the Boards will work towards finding a window to reschedule this Test match,” the BCCI statement had said.