Tim Seifert, a Kiwi batsman, has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be returning to New Zealand on the charter flight with the rest of New Zealand’s IPL players, support staff, and commentators. Seifert, who played in the IPL for the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), failed both of his pre-departure PCR exams and will be put in quarantine. He is now having mild effects, according to immediate guidance.
One of the two charter flights carrying New Zealand’s IPL team back to the country has already left India, and the other will depart this evening (NZ time) after being postponed due to logistical issues.
Both passengers on the flights have been and will continue to follow the pre-departure and in-flight procedures, which include COVID-19 checks, social distancing, mask wearing, and best-practice grooming, and will be evaluated again when they arrive in Auckland.
Seifert will be released back to New Zealand for the required 14-day duration of controlled isolation after he has completed therapy and the statutory period of isolation and has tested negative for COVID-19.
He is awaiting transport to Chennai, where he will be treated in the same private hospital where former Australia player Michael Hussey has been after testing positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.
Seifert had returned seven negative scans in the ten days leading up to his pre-departure treatment, according to NZC chief executive David White, and he was assured he would get the best possible treatment from his franchise.
“It’s just sad for Tim, and we’ll do whatever we can for him from here,” White said in an official statement. “Hopefully, he’ll be able to screen negative and be cleared and approved for release as soon as he’s well again.”
“Since hearing the storey, we’ve organised support for Tim and have been in touch with his family through the players union to keep them completely aware and updated on developments,” he said.
White expressed his gratitude to the BCCI and IPL franchises for arranging charter flights and medical assistance.
New Zealand’s UK-bound Test contingent has also undergone adjustments, with Kane Williamson, Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson, and physio Tommy Simsek moving to the Maldives (rather than remaining in New Delhi) ahead of their trip to England.
Chris Donaldson, the New Zealand coach who had planned to fly home on one of the NZ-bound charter flights before returning to England, has now chosen to stay with the UK-bound players and is currently in the Maldives.
The party decided to move to the Maldives after receiving word that their entrance into the UK, which had been scheduled for May 11, would possibly be postponed for another week.
When the league was postponed on Tuesday, BCCI Secretary Jay Shah said that the Indian board did not want to jeopardise the safety of those participating in the tournament.
“The BCCI and the IPL GC have agreed to delay the season of 2021 until further notice. We don’t want to jeopardise the welfare of the clubs, participants, staff, groundskeepers, match officials, or anybody else involved “Jay Shah had said previously.