New Zealand allrounder Mitchell Santner is all set to stay away from home for as many as four months in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic as he flies off to play in the CPL first and then the IPL. A party of ten will fly out from New Zealand this week for the CPL after obtaining no-objection certificates from NZC, of which Santner, Ish Sodhi and Brendon McCullum will then head over to the UAE in September to be a part of the IPL.
Santner is the only one who will play in both leagues, for Barbados Tridents first and then Chennai Super Kings, as Sodhi will be playing for St Kitts & Nevis Patriots in the CPL but working as spin consultant for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, while McCullum will be head coach of the two Knight Riders franchises - Trinbago and Kolkata.
Ross Taylor, Colin Munro, Tim Seifert, Glenn Phillips, Corey Anderson, Scott Kuggeleijn and Nick Kelly are the other New Zealand players set to feature only in the CPL, while Lockie Ferguson Jimmy Neesham, Trent Boult, Mitchell McClenaghan and Kane Williamson should make the trip across for the IPL.
Santner admitted there were risks involved in flying through different continents and staying in hotels, even though there are going to be all sorts of safety apparatus in place. "It's an interesting one. I'm going through America and I'll park up in the [airport] lounge in the corner somewhere. It's one of the risks we've got to think about," Santner told stuff.co.nz. "They've put an extensive booklet together about what happens in each circumstance which has been good, and a bit of clarity around where we're staying. It seems like they've got it under control."
Santner, Sodhi and McCullum have a slim window to travel between the two leagues as the CPL ends on September 10 in Trinidad and the IPL begins only nine days later, with the quarantine rules for entering biosecure bubbles in the IPL not defined yet. With IPL scheduled to end on November 8 or 10, the trio will then be expected to quarantine for two weeks once they get back to New Zealand.
"At this stage we'll just fly straight across [from the Caribbean]," Santner said of getting to the IPL. "I'm not sure what quarantine looks like yet [before the IPL], but there's some other big dogs like Dwayne Bravo and Brendon McCullum I can tag along with."
Santner will have another group to fly with after the CPL as the likes of Rashid Khan, Chris Gayle, Andre Russell and Kieron Pollard are also expected to be at the IPL.
Santner was part of the last international match that took place before the Covid-19 crisis hit the world, when New Zealand took on Australia behind closed doors in Sydney in March. More recently, the New Zealand players - men and women - have attended camps in Lincoln and Mount Maunganui to train for the cricket scheduled ahead.
"It'll be exciting to play some cricket again," Santner said. "It's been a slow winter but good to be at home for a bit and train and do all the fitness work. Chris (Donaldson, New Zealand strength and conditioning coach) put us through the wringer the last six weeks so it's nice to go away and not see him for a few months."