Manchester: Days after the fifth and final Test got cancelled after the touring party felt scared of taking the ground after a member of their support staff contracted the coronavirus, former English cricketer Paul Newman has lashed out at the Virat Kohli-led Indian side. Newman accused the Indian players of not taking the field because they did not want to risk their chances of playing in the upcoming second leg of the Indian Premier League in UAE.

“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,” he wrote in his column for the Daily Mail.

“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,” he wrote further.

Kohli and the other Indian cricketers flew to Dubai and Abi Dhabi early to join their respective IPL teams after the series-decider against England was called off. Kohli will be quarantined for six days before he joins the team for training.

In Royal Challengers Bangalore’s “RCB Bold Diaries” series, Kohli expressed his disappointment as the entire team had to leave England without completing the series as things turned out to be very uncertain and anything could’ve happened if they had been there. All the Indian players are in the bio-bubble of their respective teams as the tournament will be resuming on 19th September.

“Unfortunate that we had to end up here early, but with COVID in place, things are very uncertain. Anything can happen at any time,” Kohli said.