Kiwi batsman Tim Seifert has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be travelling back to New Zealand on the charter flight with New Zealand’s other Indian Premier League (IPL) players, support staff and commentators. Seifert, who represented the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the IPL, failed both his pre-departure PCR tests and as a result will be taken into quarantine. Immediate advice is that he is experiencing moderate symptoms.
One of the two charter flights transporting New Zealand’s IPL contingent back home has already departed India, and the other will leave this evening (NZ time) after being delayed for logistical reasons.
All those on the flights have been, and will be, observing prescribed pre-departure and in-flight protocols, including COVID-19 tests, social distancing, mask wearing and best-practice hygiene, and will again be assessed on arrival in Auckland.
Once Seifert has undergone treatment and the statutory period of isolation and has tested negative for COVID-19, he will be transferred back to New Zealand where he will undergo the mandatory 14-day period of managed isolation.
He is currently awaiting transfer to Chennai, where he will be treated in the same private hospital in which former Australia player Michael Hussey has been staying since testing positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week.
NZC chief executive David White said Seifert had returned seven negative tests in the 10 days leading up to his pre-departure protocols and was confident he would be receiving the best of care from his franchise.
“It’s really unfortunate for Tim and we’ll do everything for him that we can from this end, and hopefully he will be able to test negative and be cleared and approved for discharge as soon as he’s well again,” said White in an official statement.
“Since receiving the news, we’ve organised support for Tim and have also – via the players association, been in contact with his family to ensure they’re kept fully informed and updated on developments,” he added
White said he was grateful to the BCCI and the IPL franchises for organising the charter flights and medical assistance.
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.
New Zealand 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.
While postponing the league on Tuesday, BCCI Secretary Jay Shah said the Indian board didn’t wish to compromise on the safety of those involved in the league.
“The BCCI and the IPL GC have unanimously decided to postpone the 2021 season till further notice. We don’t wish to compromise the safety of the players, the people involved, the employees, the groundsmen, the match officials, every single person involved,” Jay Shah had said.
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