WTC final: Wiiliamson, Santner and Jamieson leave Delhi bio-bubble for Maldives

Written by Vishwas Gupta

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson, Mitchell Santner and Kyle Jamieson have transferred themselves to the Maldives after leaving the mini bio-bubble in New Delhi. The World Test Championship (WTC) final-bound trio along with physio Tommy Simsek and trainer Chris Donaldson will leave for England from the Maldives now.

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) in an official statement has said that the decision was taken after advice that their entry into the UK could be delayed by a week. Rest of the IPL-based New Zealand players including Mumbai Indians’ Trent Boult have left for their country in charter flights.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert, who was part of the KKR squad in now-postponed IPL 2021, has tested positive for Covid-19 in pre-departure tests and will be quarantining in Chennai.

“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.

“BLACKCAPS 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,” NZC said in an official statement.

The Blackcaps will face England in a 2-match Test series against New Zealand staring June 2 before locking horns with India in the final of inaugural WTC in Southampton from June 18.

India on Friday, announced a 20-member squad led by Virat Kohli for the WTC final and 5-match Test series in England. All-rounder Hardik Pandya, pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and spinner Kuldeep Yadav failed to make cut while Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami and Hanuma Vihari made comebacks after their respective injuries.

India’s squad: Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (Captain), Ajinkya Rahane (vice-captain), Hanuma Vihari, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ishant Sharma, Mohd. Shami, Md. Siraj, Shardul Thakur, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul (subject to fitness clearance), Wriddhiman Saha (wicket-keeper; subject to fitness clearance).

Standby players: Abhimanyu Easwaran, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan, Arzan Nagwaswalla

New Zealand’s squad for WTC final: Kane Williamson (c), Rachin Ravindra, Devon Conway, Jacob Duffy, Tom Blundell, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling (wk), Tom Latham, Daryll Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, Neil Wagner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Mitchell Santner, Ajaz Patel, Doug Bracewell, Jacob Duffy, Matt Henry, Kyle Jamieson, Will Young

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Vishwas Gupta