Cricket: Blackcaps' Tim Seifert to return to New Zealand after recovering from COVID-19

Blackcaps batsman Tim Seifert has recovered from COVID-19 and has left India to return to New Zealand.

Earlier this month, Seifert was forced to remain on the subcontinent, rather than join his fellow NZ players in their exodus from the Indian Premier League, when he failed both of his pre-departure PCR tests and was taken into quarantine with "moderate" symptoms.

The Twenty20 tournament was suspended indefinitely, after several teams recorded cases amid India's rapidly worsening coronavirus situation.

The 26-year-old was transferred to Chennai, where he was treated at a private hospital. 

Blackcaps head coach Gary Stead has announced Seifert has been cleared of the virus, completed the statutory period of isolation and will soon depart home.

NZ Cricket has since confirmed Seifert has left the country.

"I actually heard from Tim a little while ago and the really encouraging thing is that he's tested negative," Stead says. "My understanding is that he's on a flight out of India pretty quickly as well. 

"I don't know how long it's going to take him to get back to New Zealand or where he's heading via, but it's great news for Tim that his health is on the improve to a point where he's not testing positive anymore."

A limited-overs specialist, Seifert didn't feature for Kolkata Knight Riders, after being called in late as an injury replacement.

After landing in New Zealand, he'll immediately enter managed isolation for the mandatory two-week period.

Seifert is not part of the squad for the upcoming England test series, which is now nearly completely reunited at the on-site hotel at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.

The Indian Premier League contingent - including captain Kane Williamson, Kyle Jamieson and Mitchell Santner - quarantined in the Maldives and have now arrived, but need to remain apart from the rest of the party for the next 10 days.

Later on Tuesday (NZ time), another group consisting of Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling and Neil Wagner are due to arrive from New Zealand.

Will Young has also linked with the squad from Durham, where he's been in outstanding form for the north England county side.

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