WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand test cricket batsman Tim Seifert has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been refused permission to board a repatriation flight from India to New Zealand.
Seifert was among a group of New Zealand players and support staff from the suspended Indian Premier League who were booked on a charter flight to New Zealand on Saturday. He failed both his pre-flight tests and has been taken into quarantine, New Zealand Cricket said in a statement.
The statement said Seifert, who has been playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, is experiencing moderate symptoms. Seifert will be treated while in quarantine and will have to return a negative test before being allowed to return to New Zealand, where he faces a further 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 while in quarantine.
“It’s really unfortunate for Tim and we’ll do everything for him that we can from this end,” White said. “Hopefully he will be able to test negative and be cleared and approved for discharge as soon as he’s well again.
“Since receiving the news we’ve organized 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.”
One of two flights carrying the New Zealanders home has now left India but the other was delayed and will depart later Saturday. Players aboard both flights will be tested in transit and will have to wear masks and social distance.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, teammates Kyle Jamieson and Mitchell Santner and team physiotherapist Tommy Simsek, who are hoping to fly to England on Tuesday, have been transferred from the India capital Delhi to the Maldives while they await their outward flight.
The four will isolate in England before joining the New Zealand team for its two-test series against England and for the World Test Championship final against India. The New Zealand-based members of the team will fly to England next week.
The decision to transfer the group to the Maldives followed advice their departure from Delhi might be delayed.
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