Former Black Caps head coach and Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Director of Cricket Mike Hesson has returned to his home in New Zealand after being stranded in India for over a month amid the nationwide lockdown to combat the Coronavirus pandemic. The former New Zealand player had arrived in India on March 5 for the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) but was stuck in the country after the lockdown was imposed and all flights were suspended. Also Read - My Life, My Yoga: PM Modi Launches Video Blogging Contest for Citizens, Winner to Get Rs 1 Lakh Prize Money
On Tuesday, the 45-year-old Hesson confirmed about his return to New Zealand on his official social media profile. “What a wonderful sight after spending over a day on a bus to get to Mumbai airport. The staff on Air New Zealand were simply outstanding on our return to New Zealand,” he tweeted from his official handle. Also Read - Has Former India Captain MS Dhoni Retired? Wife Sakshi Quashes Rumours
In his tweet, Hesson also thanked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the New Zealand Embassy in India, New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Also Read - ICC's Guidelines 'Weird And Off-putting' But Health And Safety More Important: MCC Chief Kumar Sangakkara
“Special thanks to Down pointing backhand index @NZinIndia @MFATNZ @narendramodi @jacindaardern #repatriationflight #india #NZ” he added.
To stem the spread of the coronavirus outbreak, India and New Zealand had announced lockdowns in their respective countries last month, alongside travel restrictions, forcing Hesson to stay in Bengaluru. While India remains in lockdown till May 3, New Zealand eased its stringent measures on Tuesday.
The IPL, which was originally scheduled to get underway on March 29, has been suspended until further notice due to the pandemic.
The Coronavirus outbreak, that originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has infected over 30 lakh people across the world while killing more than two lakh.
All major sporting events, including the Tokyo Olympics, have either been cancelled or postponed.