England-bound New Zealand players, who are currently in the Maldives, will be departing for England by May 17. Three Kiwi players, including NZ captain Kane Williamson, Mitchell Santner, Kyle Jamieson along with physio Tommy Simsek moved to the Maldives on May 7 after not feeling comfortable in Delhi’s mini bio-bubble that was set up following the suspension of IPL 2021. “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,” said New Zealand Cricket in an official statement.
The Blackcaps quartet including Williamson, Santner, Jamieson and physio Simsek will be flying to England for the 2-match Test series against the host country. New Zealand’s trainer Chris Donaldson, who also opted to stay with England-bound players in the Maldives, will also be flying along with the Kiwi players.
New Zealand are scheduled to play two Tests against England, starting June 2, before taking on India in the World Test Championship finale from June 18- June 22. Prior to the Test series, the Blackcaps will also feature in a four-day practice game against Somerset from May 25.
Boult returns home, to miss first Test against England
New Zealand’s key pacer Trent Boult chose to return home after the suspension of IPL 2021, instead of joining the Kiwi quartet at the Maldives. As a result, Boult will be missing the first Test against England and is also doubtful to feature in the second. However, Stead has assured that their left-arm specialist will be available for the World Test Championship Final against India. “Boult felt for him and his mental health, the best thing he could do was get home for a while” the NZ coach revealed.