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NZ Cricket ‘hopeful’ top players can move up Covid-19 vaccine queue before touring India, England


Black Caps captain Kane Williamson could receive a Covid-19 vaccine before he and team-mates leave for the IPL later this month.

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Black Caps captain Kane Williamson could receive a Covid-19 vaccine before he and team-mates leave for the IPL later this month.

New Zealand Cricket is hopeful its touring players can move up the queue and receive the Covid-19 vaccine before they travel to India and England, and says discussions are under way with the Government.

Eight New Zealand players including captain Kane Williamson have Indian Premier League contracts and most will likely miss the season-ending Twenty20 series against Bangladesh to travel to India for the tournament which is scheduled to start on April 9.

Some could leave before the end of March to prepare for the IPL which was confirmed overnight to be played in six cities, initially in bubbles behind closed doors with Covid-19 infections still rising in parts of India.

SPARK SPORT

Martin Guptill led the way as the Black Caps cruised to victory in game five.

NZC public affairs manager Richard Boock told Stuff: “We’ve only just started a conversation with the Government about it, so we’re hopeful but unable to say much more than that.”

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The IPL contingent will then fly to England after their commitments finish (the final is scheduled for May 30), with coach Gary Stead saying he expects Williamson, Trent Boult and Kyle Jamieson will miss at least the first test against England at Lord’s on June 2 if their IPL sides make the playoffs.

The rest of the Black Caps test squad will fly to England in May to prepare for the two tests against England (June 2-6 and June 10-14) before the World Test Championship final against India starting on June 18, most likely at Lord’s.

Coach Gary Stead, centre, and the Black Caps are bound for England in May, and will be joined by their IPL contingent.

Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images

Coach Gary Stead, centre, and the Black Caps are bound for England in May, and will be joined by their IPL contingent.

No details of New Zealand’s vaccination roll-out plan have been announced, outside border workers, their families, and then front-facing health workers.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was non-committal last month when asked if New Zealand Olympic and Paralympic athletes would receive vaccinations ahead of the general population, with the Tokyo Games still scheduled to take place in July.

“That’s a conversation for further down the track. We are focusing on those domestically who are at the greatest risk,” she said.

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