Salman Butt feels the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is engaged in a dispute with the BCCI regarding the canceled 5th Test only because it wants to recover its £40m loss via insurance. According to Butt, the English board doesn't care about the match itself or the World Test Championship points, as many believe.
The former Pakistan captain's observations came in response to a recent report confirming that the ECB had approached the ICC in hopes of a forfeiture from India. If the ICC rules so, the series will end as 2-2 and Old Trafford could claim insurance, otherwise India will win 2-1.
While sharing his thoughts on the issue, Salman Butt said on his YouTube channel:
"I feel they are more worried about the £40m loss. They only want the insurance claim, and haven't even talked about the match [in the request]. They have only said that if you (the ICC) write this (that the match was forfeited), we'll recover the money from insurance. They aren't saying something like, 'For the sake of God, please play the match, the points are very important, we don't want to lose the series but equalize it at 2-2'. They haven't written anything like it."
In the tug of war between the BCCI and the ECB, the latter has claimed that Indian players tested negative for COVID-19 but refused to play due to the IPL. The BCCI, meanwhile, has tried to meet in the middle by offering to complete the Test or play two more T20Is when India tours again next year.
England went to ICC because they didn't accept BCCI's offers: Salman Butt
Salman Butt also said the dispute had only reached the ICC because the BCCI's offer didn't materialize. He added that it won't be a straightforward call for the ICC because there are valid concerns from both sides.
"It's unresolved, which is why it's being described as a 'dispute', and if it was resolved, England would not have written to the ICC... If England had accepted BCCI's offers for T20s or Tests, they wouldn't have gone towards the dispute committee. Indian players also had their concerns when their physio tested positive... It's not straightforward and we'll have to see how ICC resolves this," Salman Butt said.
In the current WTC cycle, every match awards the winner 12 points. Currently, India, with 54.17 PCT, are leading the other three teams who have played a Test in the championship. England are in bottom position with 29.17 PCT.