“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,” New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive David White said in a statement on Thursday.
Captain Kane Williamson, pacer Kyle Jamieson and spinner Mitchell Santner, as well as physio Tommy Simsek, will remain in a mini-bubble in New Delhi before departing for the UK, ahead of preparations for the Test series against England, and the WTC final against India.
“We are also very grateful to the England and Wales Cricket Board for accommodating the early arrival of the four members of the Test squad currently in India,” the board said.
NZC said May 11 is the earliest date it could obtain for the team’s arrival in the UK.
However, left-arm 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 ICC WTC final.
The New Zealand-based Test squad members will depart for England on May 16 and 17.
“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,” the NZC stated.
“All going as planned, the Kiwi kingpin will leave MIQ (Managed Isolation and Quarantine) 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,” it added.
Black Caps team 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.
White said Boult and Donaldson will return home for the three-week period with the ‘blessing’ of the cricket board and the national team management.
“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,” he said.
White said IPL players, support staff and commentators returning to New Zealand would adhere to all regulatory protocols, including pre-departure COVID-19 tests.
The IPL 2021 was suspended after four players and two coaching staff members from three different teams tested positive for COVID-19 inside the bio-bubble. (UNI)