The Indian Premier League (IPL) was suspended two days ago after the COVID-19 pandemic breached the bio-bubbles of the teams and ever since, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has been working to get players back home safely. With the entire country of India in a dire situation with more than 3.5 lakh cases being reported on a daily basis, the priority has been safety of the overseas players.
A large chunk of the overseas players have already left for home. The English contingent consisting of 8 players arrived in London yesterday (3 out of a total of 11 have stayed back in India due to quarantine protocols) while the South Africans also left for home today. The New Zealanders haven’t left yet while Australians are facing a huge issue due to a travel ban being imposed on arrivals from India. They will now have to go to either Maldives or Sri Lanka and stay there till the ban is lifted.
New Zealand’s Test players to travel to UK; Trent Boult to go home
New Zealand’s Test contingent consisting of players Kane Williamson, Kyle Jamieson and Mitchell Santner as well as physio Tommy Simsek of CSK and NZ will now remain in a mini-bubble in New Delhi before leaving for the UK on the 11th of May to kickstart preparations for the Test series against England which begins in early June as well as the all-important World Test Championship (WTC) final against India.
Trent Boult has however asked for permission to return home to see his family. He will go to New Zealand before returning immediately to England. The pacer will travel home with New Zealand’s players who aren’t a part of the Test squad like his MI teammates Jimmy Neesham and Adam Milne. New Zealand’s trainer Chris Donaldson who is occupied with KKR will also leave for New Zealand before reaching England. Two charter flights have been arranged for the New Zealanders which would reach on Saturday.
New Zealand Cricket’s chief executive David White spoke about the situation and said, “We’re completely supportive of Chris and Trent taking the opportunity to see their families before heading to the UK. 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.”
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