New Delhi: The fifth Test between England and India will begin as scheduled at Old Trafford on Friday with the visitors returning negative COVID-19 tests after a member of their support staff tested positive.Also Read - Omicron: South Korea Expands Entry Ban to 2 More African Countries From Dec 10

However, it seems that the BCCI and some sections of the English media are not happy with Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli’s “irresponsible” bio-bubble breach in London. Also Read - Omiron Scare: Maharashtra Reports 10 Fresh Cases of New Variant, State's Total Tally Touches 20

“Thankfully the nightmare scenario was avoided on Thursday night when it emerged all the players’ PCR tests had come back negative. But it is a narrow escape for the game and clearly, India coaches and players were irresponsible to attend a book launch at a London hotel outside their bubble, as revealed by Sportsmail, two days before the fourth Test at the Oval,” the Daily Mail reported. Also Read - Rohit Sharma Becomes Team India's New White-Ball Captain, Virat Kohli Sacked From ODI Captaincy

Shastri tested positive during the fourth Test at The Oval and has been in isolation since, along with bowling coach Bharat Arun, fielding coach R Sridhar and physio Nitin Patel.

On Thursday, India’s practice session before the final Test was cancelled after an Indian cricket board official confirmed that second physiotherapist Yogesh Parmar had tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Wednesday.

But later it was reported that the match would go ahead after the England and Wales Cricket Board confirmed there were no further positive cases in the Indian camp.

Speaking to IANS, a BCCI official said that it all started with “one breach”. “One mistake can make things difficult for everybody. The coach and the captain went out for a book launch and here we are seeing Covid cases within the team. This is scary,” the official added.

English media at that time had slammed the Indian staff for not taking clearance from the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).

“Visiting crew did not acquire clearance from the ECB to attend the e-book launch,” it was stated.

The negative tests of all 21 players increased the chances of the match at Old Trafford going ahead even though concerns remain. India lead the series 2-1.

“All the players have tested negative and that’s the good news. But let’s keep our fingers crossed that the match would go ahead,” a senior BCCI source told PTI on Thursday.

BBC Test Match Special tweeted: “The ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) say that all the India players PCR COVID Tests have come back negative and the Old Trafford Test goes ahead as planned.”

This was after it came to light late on Thursday evening that the Indian contingent had gone into a huddle after a senior cricketer voiced his concerns about the situation becoming worse if a playing member tested positive on one of the match days.

It is learnt that ECB chairman Tom Harrison is trying to talk to the high-profile player and address his concerns. All the other members of the side are in favour of the match going ahead.

If the situation reaches a dead-end as the player’s family wants him to withdraw, then the BCCI might just politely ask him to rest for the game.

(With Agency Inputs)