The cancellation of the fifth Test between India and England will have significant financial implications and also impact the reputation of the prestigious Old Trafford venue, said Lancashire county cricket club CEO Daniel Gidney on Friday.
The final Test in Manchester was cancelled just hours before the start amid concerns of further spread of COVID-19 during the match after India physio Yogesh Parmar had tested positive for the dreaded virus on Thursday.
"Obviously there are significant financial implications. Obviously, we have reputation issues as well, I mean, Old Trafford has a proud history of hosting Test cricket going back to over 100 years. We are absolutely gutted and devastated," Gidney told Skysports.
"I feel for all our staffs, suppliers, stakeholders, partners and sponsors and our guests today.
"But above all the ticket holders, everybody who has spent their hard money amid the difficulties of the pandemic over the last few months, who have been desperate to watch a fantastic game of cricket and unfortunately they can't do that and on behalf of Lancashire cricket club, I am truly sorry that those fans have been left so disappointed."
Gidney admitted the situation was not in their control and promised a full refund to the ticket holders.
"..all the fans and ticket holders will get full refund, we are just working through all the details with ECB at the moment. I can just apologise, very very challenging all the disruption and inconvenience caused to the guests and ticket buyers."
Old Trafford didn't have fans for a Test match since the Ashes in 2019 and there is no five-day game scheduled next year and Gidney said it is tough to accept it.
"It is very challenging to go four years without fans here for a Test match, we are a venue here of over 100 years, so it is difficult.. something which is a bitter pill to swallow but here we are, that's what we need to do.
"We need to make sure that the future games at Old Trafford, we do our absolute best for our customers."