The New Zealand Cricket and Players Association is working hard to bring Kiwi cricket home in India, while members of the test team will fly direct to England ahead of the Black Caps UK tour next month.
These are times of uncertainty and nervousness for many Kiwis in India, including a 10-player contingent and several other coaches and staff in the Covid-hit country for the Indian Premier League, which was suspended indefinitely on Tuesday after a number of players from three teams tested. positive for the virus.
“BCCI [Board of Control for Cricket in India] will do everything in its power to organize the safe and secure passage of all participants, “said IPL chairman Brijesh Patel in a statement.
However, it proves to be a challenging task, I’m the boss of the New Zealand Cricket Players Association, Heath Mills.
“The players and coaches are all very worried right now,” Mills told Newstalk ZB. “And they really want to go home, maybe like most of the New Zealanders who are in India right now and want to come back to this country.
“The biggest problem is the transfers and the logistics of getting people back to New Zealand. Obviously there is a shortage of flights leaving India. Some teams are very proactive and looking for charter flights for some of the players, hopefully in the next two or three days. But others basically have to take a commercial flight from either Dubai or Doha or some other port. “
Meanwhile, nine players and staff will head straight to England ahead of a series of two Black Caps team tests against the hosts and the World Test Championship final against India.
Black Caps team captains Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson and Mitchell Santner are all set to join the UK test squad later this month, while Lockie Ferguson, Jimmy Neesham and Finn Allen will also head to England to play in Twenty20. Explosions before IPL suspension.
The other IPL Kiwi players – Tim Seifert, Adam Milne and Scott Kuggeleijn – will return to New Zealand.
The Times in England reported that some of the 11 UK IPL players – Jos Buttler, Jason Roy and Sam and Tom Curran – had boarded their flight home.
“New Zealand cricket is working very hard with the ECB [England and Wales Cricket Board] to try and arrange transfer trips for the players to get to the country, “Mills said.” It was also not easy with the restrictions with the British government and also logistically how we moved people from different cities in India to get chartered flights.
“We believe in New Zealand Cricket and the ECB that they will make the health and well-being of the players their number one priority.
“In the case of players returning to New Zealand, they are basically on their own with their franchise assistance and assistance whenever possible.”
Mills said it may take several days to confirm logistics around outbound flights, meaning players – many of whom will be locked in hotel rooms – will have to “wait for this time”.
“These are challenging times, but they are no different from some other people. We all saw what was happening in India and it really felt for the people of that country. The terrible tragedy happened there.
“Our people, they understand that they are not more important than anyone, but we need to try and help them as best we can to get home.”
As a result of the IPL suspension, Black Caps and England will need to have their full squad for the first test at Lord’s on 2 June.
“In theory they might be available for the test but to be honest at the moment that’s not the focus,” Mills said.