Bengaluru: Amid the lockdown in India due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Royal Challengers Bangalore’s (RCB) director of cricket Mike Hesson today (April 28) flew back to New Zealand.

Hesson, who was in India for the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020), was stuck in the country after the lockdown was imposed. He was in Bengaluru for RCB’s training camp which was later cancelled when the cash-rich Twenty20 league was deferred till April 15.

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However, later, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) suspended IPL 2020 indefinitely. IPL 2020 was to start on March 29. The current lockdown in the country is until May 3.

At 4.34 am on Tuesday, the 45-year-old Hesson, who is a former New Zealand national team coach, took to his Twitter account to thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Air New Zealand, New Zealand ministry of foreign affairs and trade, for arranging a repatriation flight from Mumbai.

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He wrote, “What a wonderful sight Airplane 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. Special thanks @NZinIndia @MFATNZ @narendramodi @jacindaardern #repatriationflight #india #NZ (sic).”

Former Australia batsman Dean Jones wished Hesson and reminded him of 14-day isolation upon arrival in New Zealand. He tweeted, “14 days of isolation on arrival! Safe trip bud (sic).” To this, Hesson said, “Thanks Deano 14 days will rush by.”