New Zealand Cricket (NZC), on Friday (May 7), confirmed that a few of their players have stayed back in Delhi and they will leave for England on May 11. The NZC has made arrangements for the creation of a bio-secure mini-bubble, in which skipper Kane Williamson along with Kyle Jamieson and Mitchell Santner and physio Tommy Simsek have become part of.
“New Zealand’s IPL-based Test contingent will depart from India for the United Kingdom on May 11th – the earliest date an exemption for their arrival in England could be obtained. Williamson, Jamieson and Santner, as well as physio Tommy Simsek, will remain in a secure mini-bubble in New Delhi before departing for the UK,” the NZC said in a statement. The four will leave for UK for the two-Test series against England, and the World Test Championship final against India.
NZC also confirmed that paceman Trent Boult will return home briefly to see his family before reconnecting with the Test squad in early June, “possibly in time to be picked for the second Test against England but certainly in time for the WTC final.” Boult will leave India on Saturday (May 8).
“Along with the balance of the New Zealand-bound IPL players, support staff and commentators, Boult is scheduled to depart New Delhi tomorrow on one of two charter flights, arriving in Auckland on Saturday before undergoing managed isolation. All going as planned, the Kiwi kingpin will leave MIQ on May 22 and will spend a week at home with his family, training at Mt Maunganui before departing for the UK in early June,” the statement said.
New Zealand trainer Chris Donaldson, who has been with the Kolkata Knight Riders, will also return home briefly to see his family before reconnecting with the Test squad, the board said.
“We’re completely supportive of Chris and Trent taking the opportunity to see their families before heading to the UK,” David White, New Zealand Cricket chief executive, said. “They’ve always been the consummate professionals and we’re more than happy to accommodate these arrangements. We’ve worked closely with the BCCI and the IPL franchises on the various departure strategies and we’re very appreciative of their support during what is, clearly, a very challenging time.”
The NZC official further said: “We’re also very grateful to the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) for accommodating the early arrival of the four members of the Test squad, currently in India,” and noted that the support staff and commentators returning to New Zealand would adhere to all regulatory protocols, including pre-departure COVID-19 tests.
The Test squad based in New Zealand will depart for England on May 16 and 17. (Cricbuzz)