New Zealand Cricket have announced travel arrangements for players and support staff to reach the United Kingdom in time for their series against England and the ICC World Test Championship final.
The bulk of New Zealand’s IPL-based Test contingent will depart India for the United Kingdom on 11 May – the earliest date an exemption for their arrival in England could be obtained.
Captain Kane Williamson, fast bowler Kyle Jamieson and spinner Mitchell Santner, as well as physio Tommy Simsek, will remain in a secure mini-bubble in New Delhi before departing for the UK, ahead of preparations for the Test series against England, and the WTC final against India.
However, fast bowler Trent Boult and Black Caps trainer Chris Donaldson will return home briefly to see their families before reconnecting with the Test squad in early June.
Boult will consequentially miss the first Test against England but will possibly be available for the second Test, and certainly the ICC WTC final.
Along with the remainder of New Zealand’s IPL players, support staff and commentators, Boult is scheduled to depart New Delhi on Friday on one of two charter flights, arriving in Auckland on Saturday before undergoing managed isolation.
All going as planned, Boult will leave managed isolation and quarantine on 22 May and will spend a week at home with his family, training at Mount Maunganui before departing for the UK in early June.
NZC Chief Executive David White said Boult and Donaldson return home for the three-week period with the blessing of NZC and Black Caps management.
“We’re completely supportive of Chris and Trent taking the opportunity to see their families before heading to the UK,” White said. “They’ve always been the consummate professionals and we’re more than happy to accommodate these arrangements.”
“We’ve worked closely with the BCCI and the IPL franchises on the various departure strategies and we’re very appreciative of their support during what is, clearly, a very challenging time.
“Were also very grateful to the England and Wales Cricket Board for accommodating the early arrival of the four members of the Test squad currently in India.”
White said the IPL players, support staff and commentators returning to New Zealand would adhere to all regulatory protocols, including pre-departure COVID-19 tests.
The New Zealand-based Test squad members will depart for England on 16 and 17 May.
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