IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Director of Cricket Operations Mike Hesson returned to New Zealand on Tuesday after being stranded in India for over a month amid the nationwide lockdown to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ex-New Zealand player and coach had arrived in India on March 5 for the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League but was stuck in the country after the lockdown was imposed and all flights were suspended.
“What a wonderful sight after spending over a day on a bus to get to Mumbai airport. The staff on @FlyAirNZ were simply outstanding on our return to New Zealand,” Hesson tweeted.
He 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.
“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 the 45-year-old 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 cornavirus 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 sporting events, including the Tokyo Olympics, have either been cancelled or postponed.