New Zealand drummer Tim Seifert, who plays for Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League (IPL), has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been denied permission to board a repatriation flight from the India to New Zealand.
Seifert was among a group of New Zealand players and suspended IPL support staff who had been booked on a charter flight to New Zealand on Saturday. He failed his two pre-flight tests and was quarantined, New Zealand Cricket said in a statement.
Later that day, bowler Prasidh Krishna tested positive, bringing the number of cricketers contracting COVID-19 at the KKR camp to four.
Seifert, who played for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, is experiencing moderate symptoms. He will be treated in quarantine and will have to return a negative test before being allowed to return to New Zealand, where he faces another 14 days of managed isolation.
NZC chief executive David White said Seifert had tested negative seven times in the past 10 days before failing his pre-depature tests. White said he is confident the player will be well cared for in quarantine.
“It’s a real shame for Tim and we’ll do everything we can for him to make it happen,” White said. “I hope he will be able to test negative and be cleared and approved for release as soon as he is well again.
“Since we received the news we have organized support for Tim and have also – through the Players Association – been in contact with his family to ensure that they are fully informed and informed of developments.”
One of the two flights carrying New Zealanders home has now left India, but the other has been delayed and will depart later on Saturday. Players aboard both flights will be tested in transit and will be required to wear masks and social distances.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, teammates Kyle Jamieson and Mitchell Santner and team physiotherapist Tommy Simsek, who hope to visit England on Tuesday, have been transferred from India’s capital Delhi to the Maldives pending their outbound flight.
The four will isolate themselves in England before joining the New Zealand squad for their two-test series against England and for the World Test Championship final against India. The New Zealand-based team members will fly to England next week.
The decision to move the group to the Maldives followed advice that their departure from Delhi may be delayed.