ICC WTC Final: New Zealand pacer Neil Wagner might give a few batsmen sleepless nights with his express pace and swing but he took a different role, donning the chef’s hat to give farewell to his Kiwi teammates who will be returning home. Ahead of the India challenge in the ICC World Test Championship finale, New Zealand returned to Southampton and instead of going right into the competitive mode, they were seen having a relaxed time with a barbeque party after a historic Test series win against England. Kane Williamson & Co will face Virat Kohli’s India from June 18 at Rose Bowl in the ICC WTC Final.
In a video tweeted by New Zealand Cricket, the likes of Trent Boult, Neil Wagner amongst others were seen enjoying a little time off.
The perfect way to wrap the team’s first full day back in Southampton and farewell the players and support staff returning to New Zealand before the @ICC World Test Championship Final? A BBQ prepared by Head Chef @NeilWagner13 #WTC21 pic.twitter.com/RI17aKw8CW
— BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) June 15, 2021
“The perfect way to wrap the team’s first full day back in Southampton and farewell the players and support staff returning to New Zealand before the @ICC World Test Championship Final? A BBQ prepared by Head Chef @NeilWagner13 #WTC21,” the BlackCaps tweeted a video with the caption.
Ahead of the ICC WTC Final, New Zealand cut down the team to 15 as per ICC norms with many of the stars returning home. Kane Williamson will be back after sitting out of the 2nd Test against England due to an elbow injury while the likes of Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson will also return to the squad after being rested.
However, while the BlackCaps partied, Team India lodged a complaint to the ICC against New Zealand for breaching bio-bubble protocols. As per a BCCI official, six members of the New Zealand team —Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Daryl Michell and physio Tommy Simsek — went on a golfing trip on Tuesday morning that upset the India team management in Southampton.
“We have been informed about the matter by the team management. ICC needs to have similar protocols for both teams. We will raise the issue with ICC officials,” said a senior BCCI member currently in Mumbai.
It is worth noting that both India and New Zealand are putting up at the Hilton hotel within the premises of Ageas Bowl stadium in Southampton. As per the ICC protocols, the Indian team and their families have remained on their floors at the hotel – but contrary to that New Zealand members have gone out to play golf. The golf course that Kiwi players went to is also housed in the same premises of Rose Bowl. Hence, the New Zealand team management believes no such protocol has been broken.