Three New Zealand Test players – captain Kane Williamson, Mitchell Santner, and Kyle Jamieson – along with two staff members – physio Tommy Simsek and trainer Chris Donaldson – who all were involved in the IPL 2021 and are supposed to tour England for their Test assignments have now flown to the Maldives from their mini bio-bubble in New Delhi.
The Kiwis will play a 2-match Test series against Joe Root’s team before the ICC World Test Championship final against India.
Earlier, NZC had said that the aforementioned people will fly to the UK directly from India. But now it has been reported by Cricbuzz that they “felt insecure in the Delhi bubble” and have left for the Maldives with the Australia-bound Chennai Super Kings players.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) in an official statement has said that the decision was taken after reports that their entry into the UK could be delayed by a week. The rest of the Kiwi players in the now-suspended IPL 2021, including Trent Boult, have left for home in charter flights.
“There have also been changes to the arrangements for New Zealand’s UK-bound Test contingent, with Kane Williamson, Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson, and physio Tommy Simsek, transferring to the Maldives (rather than staying in New Delhi) ahead of travelling to England,” NZC said in an official statement.
“BLACKCAPS trainer Chris Donaldson, who initially signalled his intention to return home on one of the NZ-bound charter flights before returning to England, has instead opted to remain with the UK-bound players and is also in the Maldives.
“The decision for this group to transfer to the Maldives was taken after advice that their entry into the UK, initially thought to be about May 11, was likely to be delayed a further week,” the statement added.
Trent Boult returns to New Zealand; likely to miss England Tests but will be available for WTC final
Mumbai Indians and New Zealand spearhead pacer Trent Boult is not with the other three abovementioned players and has returned home to be with his family before flying to England. Boult, along with New Zealand trainer Chris Donaldson, who was with the Kolkata Knight Riders, headed back home on Friday from Delhi.
They are in 14-day quarantine in New Zealand before being allowed to link up with their families. After spending about a week of personal time, both of them will then fly for England, where they would be expected to serve another quarantine before joining the Kiwi squad. Hence, Boult is all but confirmed to miss the first Test against England which commences on June 2nd.
He could also miss the second Test from June 10th but will be available for the WTC final which is scheduled for June 18th in Southampton.
“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,” David White, the NZC chief executive, was quoted by ESPNcricinfo as saying.