Former England cricketer Paul Newman has slammed the BCCI and the Indian cricketers for not respecting Test cricket, after the final Test of the recent five-match series against England was canceled due to COVID-19 fears in Manchester last week.
He further blamed the second phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2021) for the cancelation of the fifth and final Test between England and India in Manchester, saying the Indian players were eager to get the Test canceled so as to not miss the resumption of the world’s richest tournament in the UAE.
The Englishman said India didn’t respect the Test series and Test cricket “either in flouting COVID-19 guidelines” referring to Ravi Shastri and Virat Kohli attending a book launch event alongside several players in London ahead of the fourth Test at The Oval.
Newman wrote in his column for the Daily Mail: “There is no way the series decider would have been called off on the morning of the first day had the majority of India’s players not been flying to Dubai for the resumption of the richest tournament in cricket.”
He added, “No India player with an IPL contract wanted to risk playing in this Test, then testing positive and being forced to stay in England for another 10 days, so missing the restart of the tournament in the UAE on September 19. India did not respect this series in pulling out yesterday and they did not respect Test cricket either in flouting Covid guidelines ahead of the fourth Test.”
The former pacer also blamed Shastri and Kohli for the cancelation of the final Test in Manchester. Newman noted, “This whole outbreak in their camp could well have been started by the presence of Shastri along with Captain Virat Kohli and several players and staff at a book launch at a London hotel attended by more than 150 people two days before the Oval Test.”
He signed off by saying, “It was a breach of protocols that privately angered those at the ECB who have done so much to keep the show on the road in the last 18 months, not least with three Tests at Old Trafford last year that salvaged millions of pounds of revenue for the game. What a way for Lancashire to be rewarded for all they did then.”