James Pamment, former New Zealand cricketer. (Photo Source: Stuff.co.nz)
James Pamment, former New Zealand cricketer. (Photo Source: Stuff.co.nz)

James Pamment, former New Zealand cricketer and Mumbai Indians fielding coach has revealed that after the Covid-19 cases emerged in the Kolkata Knight Rider (KKR) and Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) camps, the Australian and New Zealand cricketers he was in touch with became a ‘little more fearful and a little more apprehensive’.

James Pamment, along with Trent Boult, Finn Allen, Jimmy Neesham, Adam Milne, Scott Kuggeleijn, Shane Bond, and Mike Hesson reached their country Saturday night after IPL 2021 was suspended midway owing to the rising cases of Covid-19 in the country.

James Pamment
James Pamment

James Pamment Felt Safe In Bio Bubble And Added That Travel Was Allows Going To Be A Challenging Aspect

James Pamment, who had been in India since January said he felt safe in the bio-secure bubble set up by Mumbai Indians and it was only the inter-city travel that was posed a concerning issue.

“We’d pretty much taken over a hotel in Mumbai and created a safe space – I think I was the first person in there. You felt as long as everyone was disciplined and people weren’t tempted … staff were also part of the bubble, they had to isolate for a two-week period before working and we were getting regular tests, so you felt it was an extremely safe bubble being formed. You did feel confident you’d be fine, and everybody around you would be fine,” James Pamment told Stuff.co.nz.

James Pamment
James Pamment Image courtesy Mumbai Indians

“We felt the travel was always going to be a challenge. We had a case ourselves on our first travel when we went to Chennai to prepare for the start of the tournament – it was a support staff member, fortunately, picked up very quickly and he was isolated, and none of the people considered close contacts to him were infected. But it was a very early reminder that your bubble’s not impenetrable. We probably got even stricter around how we operated,” he added.

Among those who returned home(New Zealand) from India were Shane Bond, Adam Milne, and James Pamment for whom the plane seat was reserved earlier.

James Pamment Felt Safe And Didn’t Feel Bubble Would Be Compromised With

James Pamment also said that he was happy with the franchise’s management of the whole situation. He said he and the Kiwi players felt very confident in the franchise’s management.

” Some of the senior Indian guys don’t like being restricted and told what to do, but we did feel safe – at no point did we feel the bubble would be compromised, the challenge was the travel,” he said, adding, “We all had MIQ vouchers booked for June, so as soon as we knew we were coming back, we jumped online individually to get the vouchers. “

“The plane was initially booked for three people – myself, Shane Bond, and Adam Milne – because Trent’s plans were to go to England, Jimmy Neesham’s plans were to go to England. RCB [Royal Challengers Bangalore] hadn’t had any cases and the Mumbai management were happy to consider them coming back with us as well.”

James Neesham
James Neesham (Photo by Andy Kearns/Getty Images)

Besides Kane Williamson, the UK-bound group includes Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Mitchell Santner, Chris Donaldson (trainer), Tommy Simsek (physio), Lockie Ferguson, James Neesham, and Finn Allen.

The last three will feature in the T20 Blast in the UK starting June 9. Kane Williamson will also be a part of The Hundred, to be played from July 21. New Zealand plays England in a two-match Test series, beginning on June 2, before they face India in the World Test Championships finals at Southampton from June 18.

Tim Seifert, who was part of the Kolkata Knight Riders squad for the Indian Premier League 2021 season, was tested positive for Covid-19, as per a statement released by New Zealand Cricket. The wicketkeeper-batsman missed his charter flight back to New Zealand with all the other members of the New Zealand contingent. Tim Seifert now will stay in isolation in Ahmedabad and will be transferred to Chennai, where he will be taken to a private hospital for treatment, before making his way back home.