Tim Seifert now Covid-negative after KKR stint, will soon fly back to New Zealand - Gary Stead

Tim Seifert works the ball behind square AFP

New Zealand head coach Gary Stead has confirmed that wicketkeeper-batter Tim Seifert has tested negative for Covid-19. Stead also said that Seifert, who was part of the Kolkata Knight Riders squad in IPL 2021, will be leaving India shortly. He had returned a positive test after the tournament was suspended in the wake of rising Covid-19 cases across teams.

"I heard from Tim just a little while ago. I think the really encouraging thing is he's tested negative and my understanding is he's on a flight out of India pretty quickly as well," Stead said in a virtual interaction with the media after arriving in the UK for a two-Test series against England and the World Test Championship final against India.

"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 for a start his health is on the improve anyway, to the point where he's not testing positive anymore."

Seifert, who didn't get a game this season, was the third player from the Knight Riders squad to test positive after Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier. As a result, he was unable to join the rest of the New Zealanders at the IPL on a charter flight back home immediately after the tournament was called off.

He was initially isolating in Ahmedabad, but was later transferred to the same private facility in Chennai where former Australia batter and the Chennai Super Kings' batting coach Mike Hussey was being treated after he, too, tested positive for the virus. Hussey returned a negative result last week and was cleared to fly back to Australia on a commercial flight via Doha.