Former England cricketer Paul Newman slammed the Indian cricket and the Indian Premier League for the cancellation if Manchester Test.
The fifth Test match was cancelled after Indian players refused to take the field citing COVID-19 concerns in the camp.
“India did not respect this series and they did not respect Test cricket either in flouting Covid guidelines ahead of the fourth Test,” said Newman.
“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.
“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,” former seamer Newman, who has played 135 first-class matches and 177 List A games, wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.
“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 series still stands at 2-1 with India at lead and both the boards are trying to find a way out.
Newman also blamed Ravi Shastri for the entire series of events where Indian camp reported positive COVID-19 cases.
“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.
“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,” he wrote.