Eight New Zealand cricketers are currently in India playing the IPL but the country has imposed a travel ban from India.
The coronavirus pandemic is in the middle of the second wave in India. For the last four-five days, cases have crossed over one lakh. Thursday was the deadliest day in India, with close to 132,000 cases. This is the highest-ever number for India ever since the coronavirus outbreak in 2020. Taking this into account, New Zealand has enforced a travel ban for travelers coming from India. The ban will begin on Sunday and will continue until April 28.
The latest update has caused a problem for some New Zealand players. There are eight cricketers currently in India for IPL 2021. Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson, Jimmy Neesham, Tim Seifert, Adam Milne and Lockie Ferguson are playing for Sunrisers Hyderabad, Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kolkata Knight Riders and Chennai Super Kings.
However, the onus on the safety of the New Zealand players has boiled down to the country’s cricket board. In a statement made by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Thursday, she said, “Ultimately these decisions around travel into high risk countries generally will come down to individuals, but also if it’s a workforce, their employers. So those are judgements they need to make.”
Although many of the franchises are in the bio-bubble, there have been some problems in the build-up. Nitish Rana, Axar Patel and Devdutt Padikkal have tested positive for the coronavirus. The only international player who has being laid low by COVID-19 is Daniel Sams of Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, he is asymptomatic.
New Zealand will visit England for a two-Test series towards the fag end of the IPL. With the situation in India deteriorating, what will be repercussions for the New Zealand players who travel from India to England is still unknown.
If a player gets injured in that period, will he be allowed to travel to New Zealand? New Zealand Cricket public affairs manager Richard Boock says the board is monitoring the situation. “We are in contact with the IPL franchises to keep the lines of communication open, because the tournament’s due to go for some time. We’re prepared to discuss all contingencies, if the situation warrants,” Boock said.