India National Cricket Team
India National Cricket Team (Image Credit: Twitter)

Former England domestic cricketer Paul Newman slammed the Indian cricket team for abandoning the fifth Test against England last year to prioritise the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

The Indian cricket team is scheduled to play England in one Test, three One-Day Internationals and three T20 Internationals in England in the month of July. The only Test match of the tour is the rescheduled Test for the five-match Test series during India’s tour of England in 2021.

Why is the fifth Test between India and England rescheduled?

India were leading 2-1 and before they could take on England in the fifth Test at Old Trafford in Manchester from September 10-14, the visitors’ contingent was hit with a series of COVID-19 cases and eventually the match was deferred.

Both the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the England Cricket Board (ECB) mutually decided to reschedule the fifth Test in 2022, where the Indian team was already slated to play white-ball fixtures.

India, England, ICC
Joe Root and Virat Kohli at the toss. (Image: Twitter)

India put the IPL before Test cricket: Paul Newman

The second phase of IPL 2021 was scheduled to commence on September 19 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The Indian players expressed concerns to play the final Test in an environment surrounded by Covid-19 cases but the same players went to UAE to join their respective IPL franchises.

“The arrival of India to complete a Test series that should have ended at Old Trafford last summer is a reminder of how they let down the paying public and Test cricket by pulling out of the final game on the morning of the match,” Newman wrote in his column for Daily Mail.

India National Cricket Team
India National Cricket Team. Image Credits: BCCI

“It was laughable when the cancellation was blamed on Covid concerns and a game India never wanted to play was abandoned when they put the IPL before Test cricket and set a dangerous precedent,” he further mentioned.

The fifth rescheduled Test between England and India will take place at the Edgbaston in Birmingham, starting on Friday (July 1). India will aim to win their first Test series in England since 2007 under Rahul Dravid, who is their current head coach.

Also Read: IND vs ENG: Rahul Dravid Not Focusing At All On What England’s Done