• India did not take the field at Old Trafford which led to the 5th Test getting postponed
  • Newman said that the Indian players were never keen to play the match because of the IPL
  • He said that physio Parmar’s positive test was the trigger the players needed to not take the field

English former cricketer Paul Newman did not hold back in his criticism of the Indian players for the alleged role they played in the fifth Test at Old Trafford getting called off. Newman said that the Indian players were eager to get the Test cancelled so as to not risk their participation in the second half of the 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL).

“There is no way this 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 next Wednesday for the resumption of the richest tournament in cricket.

“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,” Newman, who has played 135 first-class matches and 177 List A games, wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.

The Indian team decided not to take the field at Old Trafford, which led to the cancellation and eventual postponement of the fifth and final Test just two hours before the toss after the Covid outbreak in the visiting camp last week.

Yogesh Parmar was the fourth Indian team support staff member to contract coronavirus after head coach Ravi Shastri, bowling coach Bharat Arun and fielding coach R Sridhar.

Newman said that the positive Covid test that Parmar returned was the trigger that the Indian players needed to not play the final Test. India came into the match leading 2-1 in the series.

“The positive PCR test of Yogesh Parmar was the trigger India’s players needed to up sticks and get out of here as soon as possible even after they had all returned negative tests themselves en masse on Thursday evening,” he said.

“There really should have been no reason why they could not play on once those test results were returned. That is the criterion that has governed every game this season as cricket continues to navigate the complex Covid world. Why should that change now? 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,” he added.

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