Blackcaps pacer Lockie Ferguson has been cleared of coronavirus after he was tested in Australia and will return home on Sunday from Sydney. Ferguson complained of a sore throat after his team lost to Australia in the series opener, on Friday, of the three ODIs that were scheduled.
The governing body on Saturday night confirmed his test had come back clear and he would fly to New Zealand on Sunday morning. The ODI series between the Black Caps and Australia was immediately postponed after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's stringent new travel restrictions were announced on Saturday. Ferguson will return before New Zealand's tighter border restrictions are implemented as of midnight Sunday. New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said Ferguson was placed in isolation at the team hotel in accordance with recommended health protocols and was tested for Covid-19.
Every person arriving will have to isolate themselves for 14 days. The restrictions will be reviewed in 16 days and there will be more advice for self-isolation next week. People travelling from the Pacific Islands to New Zealand will be exempt, unless they show symptoms of coronavirus. NZC said the bulk of the Black Caps squad were flying home on Saturday evening after losing the opening match of the Chappell-Hadlee series by 71 runs.
The Black Caps were due to play two more ODIs in Australia on Sunday and next Friday but they have been postponed, as has the three-match Twenty20 series between the two nations in New Zealand later this month. In a statement, NZC said they believed "both these series can be replayed in their entirety at a later and more appropriate date".
Earlier, Australian bowler Kane Richardson was also tested for coronavirus after suffering from a sore throat on Thursday. That saw him left out of the squad for Friday's game but the test was negative.