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New Zealand's Boult, Neesham arrive in Auckland after IPL's suspension

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May 9 (Reuters) - New Zealand players including Trent Boult and Jimmy Neesham were among a first group to return to the country from the Indian Premier League on Saturday after the series was abruptly suspended, NZ Herald reported.

International cricketers who were part of the IPL started heading back home on Wednesday after the lucrative Twenty20 competition was called off on Tuesday over the coronavirus crisis in India. read more

Boult and Neesham were joined on a charter flight to Auckland by their Mumbai Indians team mate Adam Milne plus Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) duo of Finn Allen and Scott Kuggeleijn, the report said.

RCB's Director of Cricket Operation Mike Hesson was also part of the group along with James Pamment and Shane Bond who have coaching and management roles in the IPL.

The group arrived in Auckland via Tokyo.

A second flight carrying bowler Lockie Ferguson, coaches Brendon McCullum, Stephen Fleming and Kyle Mills, commentators Simon Doull and Scott Styris and umpire Chris Gaffaney will arrive later on Sunday, the report added.

New Zealand Cricket said on Saturday batsman Tim Seifert will remain in India after testing positive for COVID-19 but skipper Kane Williamson and four others have been moved to the Maldives pending their departure for England. read more

Mumbai Indians said later on Sunday that all of their foreign contingent, apart from the New Zealand cohort, had also reached their respective destinations after leaving from New Delhi.

West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard arrived in Trinidad, while South Africa's Quinton de Kock and Marco Jansen landed in Johannesburg.

Australian duo Nathan Coulter-Nile and Chris Lynn arrived in the Maldives. Australia has banned travellers from India, even its own citizens, until May 15. read more

Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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