New Zealand Cricket Team
New Zealand Cricket Team-AFP

New Zealand cricketers involved in the now-suspended IPL, including captain Kane Williamson, are likely to remain in India at least till May 10 before flying to England for national duty, their players’ union chief said on Wednesday.

The remaining players as well as the support staff in various IPL teams and commentators could return home by charter flights arranged by the franchises, New Zealand Cricket Players’ Association head Heath Mills said.

Kane Williamson SPORTZPICS/Instagram
Kane Williamson SPORTZPICS/Instagram

New Zealand Cricketers Can’t Travel To England To Play The Hundred, T20 Blast, Test Series, And WTC Final Till May 11: Heath Mills

Heath Mills is expecting a revision in the travel restrictions for incoming travellers from India by the British government. Only British nationals are allowed to travel from India in the current scenario and they need to serve out a 10-day quarantine at a government-approved facility.

“Due to the UK border restrictions, that group cannot get into England until May 11. It is obviously challenging for them to wait for another few days (in India),” Mills told ESPNcricinfo.

Kane Williamson (L), Kyle Jamieson (R)(HT Collage)
Kane Williamson (L), Kyle Jamieson (R)(HT Collage)

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

Heath Mills: The Group Going Home To New Zealand Is A Real Challenge

Those returning home from India are Stephen Fleming, Brendon McCullum, Kyle Mills, Shane Bond, Mike Hesson, Tim Seifert, Adam Milne, Scott Kuggeleijn, and James Pamment. Heath Mills said a few franchises are contemplating organizing a charter flight for this group.

“The group going home to New Zealand is a real challenge. Might be one or two of the franchises might put them on a charter plane, which will be fantastic,” he said.

“We’ll have that confirmed in the next 24 hours,” he added.

Brendon McCullum
Brendon McCullum BCCI

“But there still might be players who aren’t part of those groups and trying to get them back via commercial airlines is a real challenge because there aren’t too many flights out of India.”

There were 17 New Zealanders in all involved in the IPL, including 10 players. It is very surprising that the New Zealand cricketers are not looking to return home despite two KKR players and three support staff of CSK testing positive for Covid-19.

There is a total of 10 New Zealand cricketers involved in the IPL teams and 6 New Zealand coaches are also involved. New Zealand Cricket Association CEO, Heath Mills said that no player has so far looking to return to their country and they have been continuously monitoring the situation in the IPL