Kiwi IPL players rushed home from India, Black Caps test players receive exemptions to enter United Kingdom

Publish Date
Friday, 7 May 2021, 8:04AM
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New Zealand Cricket has revealed its plans for the Kiwi Indian Premier League contingent of players included in the upcoming trio of test matches in England, following the suspension of the Twenty20 competition.

New Zealand players will depart from India for the United Kingdom on May 11, which is the earliest date an exemption to travel into England can be obtained.

Black Caps captain Kane Williamson, Kyle Jamieson and Mitchell Santner, as well as physio Tommy Simsek, will remain in a secure mini-bubble in New Delhi before departing.

However, pace bowler Trent Boult will return to New Zealand briefly to see his family before re-joining the test squad in early June. He could arrive in time to be picked for the second test against England at Edgbaston starting June 10.

Boult is set to depart New Delhi tomorrow along with other home-bound Kiwi players, support staff and commentators on one of two charter flights, arriving in Auckland on Saturday before entering managed isolation.

Trainer Chris Donaldson, who has been in camp with the Kolkata Knight Riders who were the first IPL team to report positive Covid-19 cases, will also return home briefly to see his family before reconnecting with the squad.

NZC chief executive David White says Boult and Donaldson will return to New Zealand for the three-week period with the blessing of management.

White says it's a good outcome for everyone involved.

"We've fast tracked the last 24, 48 hours working closely with the BCCI [Board of Control for Cricket in India], the franchises and also England cricket, and all along we've been talking to the players," he says.

"From the players point of view they were anxious whilst there was uncertainty. But now that we've got a clear plan I think they're a lot more relaxed and they've got certainty moving forward, and they can just get on with it now."

Boult will train while at home in Mount Maunganui, with eyes set on returning in time for the second test against England.

"I think he gets to England about 10 days before the second test. They'll just work through that detail to see if he's available for the second test, but he will certainly be available for the test match championship," White says.

A group of 18 New Zealanders will be split evenly across two charter flights. White says as far as he knows, one will be on a private jet of the Mumbai Indians owner and the second is one will be organised by the BCCI.

The escalating cases in India and subsequent suspension of the IPL could put this year's Twenty20 World Cup in jeopardy, which is due to begin in October. However White says at this stage the tournament remains intact, and will take priority over any bilateral or franchise cricket.

"That will take priority over everything. At the moment it is planned to be played in India, there is a contingency for that to be played in the United Arab Emirates in the same time frame, but that decision hasn't been made as yet."

White says New Zealanders involved in the IPL returning would adhere to all regulatory protocols, including pre-departure Covid tests.

The New Zealand-based test squad members will depart on May 16 and 17, ahead of their two tests with England and the World Test Championship final against India.

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission