KKR batsman Tim Seifert tests positive for COVID; stranded in India


Auckland: Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) batsman Tim Seifert has tested positive for COVID-19 and is not travelling with New Zealand’s IPL players back home, a statement from the country’s cricket board said on Saturday.

The opening batsman, currently in Ahmedabad, will be flown to Chennai where he will undergo treatment in the same hospital where Australian Michael Hussey, the Chennai Super Kings batting coach, is being treated before returning to New Zealand.

“Tim Seifert has tested positive for COVID-19 and will not be travelling back to New Zealand on the charter flight with New Zealand’s other Indian Premier League players, support staff and commentators,” said a statement from New Zealand Cricket on Saturday.

“Seifert, who represented Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL, failed both his pre-departure PCR tests and as a result will be taken into quarantine. Immediate advice is that he is experiencing moderate symptoms,” the statement added.

Seifert becomes the third KKR player to test positive after spinner Varun Chakravarthy and pace bowler Sandeep Warrier.

Both Chakravarthy and Warrier were the first ones to test positive in the IPL earlier this week. Following more positive tests, in the camps of Chennai Super Kings (Michael Hussey and L Balaji), Delhi Capitals (Amit Mishra) and SunRisers Hyderabad (Wriddhiman Saha) a day later, the IPL was indefinitely postponed on Tuesday.

“Once Seifert has undergone treatment and the statutory period of isolation and has tested negative for Covid-19, he will be transferred back to New Zealand where he will undergo the mandatory 14-day period of managed isolation,” added the NZC statement.

NZC chief executive David White said Seifert had returned seven negative tests in the 10 days leading up to his pre-departure protocols, and was confident he would be receiving the best of care from his franchise.

“Since receiving the news, we’ve organised 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,” said White.

One of the two charter flights transporting New Zealand’s IPL contingent back home has already departed India, and the other is scheduled to leave on Saturday after being delayed for logistical reasons.