New Zealand cricketers and support staff are all set to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine dose in Wellington on Saturday. The development emerged from New Zealand’s Ministry of Health as New Zealand Cricket confirmed to The Stuff. At present, most of the Kiwi cricketers are in India, participating in the 14th season of the Indian Premier League.
The Black Caps had anticipated to get early approval for the vaccine through the Government’s reason of national significance criteria. Several Tokyo Olympians have already received the jab through this criteria, with the event three months off. Under the national significance criteria, Chris Hipkins, the Minister for COVID-19 response, underlined that they expected to cover all the national teams playing overseas in televised sporting events.
It currently remains unclear which Black Caps cricketers have applied for the vaccine and who all were formally approved for the vaccination. Before the ICC World Test Championship final against India in June in Southampton, New Zealand will play two Tests against England in Lord’s and Edgbaston. The ICC World Test Championship tournament-decider was initially scheduled to occur in Lord’s and got shifted to Southampton for COVID-19 related reasons. Kane Williamson, who is currently involved in IPL with the SunRisers Hyderabad, will captain the Kiwis in the Test series and ICC World Test Championshp final.