A number of high-profile New Zealand cricketers and coaches are set to miss Christmas as the move to a voucher system has left them unable to get home.
Former Black Caps Mitchell McClenaghan and Kyle Mills, who are playing and coaching respectively in the Indian Premier League, face the uncomfortable prospect of being left stateless in the United Arab Emirates – the venue for this year's IPL – as they cannot get home until December 20th at the earliest and their visas expire next week.
"They're struggling with that," said NZ Players' Association general manager Heath Mills, who has been on a number of frantic calls since the Government shifted to its voucher system earlier this week. "Many New Zealanders are caught in this situation and nobody is asking for special treatment, but it's frustrating because it was sprung on them and they received no notification of a change in the system."
That has left a number of cricketers, including the White Ferns who stayed on in Australia to participate in the Women's Big Bash League, in limbo. They include the likes of star players Sophie Devine and Amelia Kerr.
Anyone boarding a flight home needs to show they have a voucher for quarantine when they arrive in New Zealand.
The problem being that the players and coaches involved could not book flights because they did not know when their participation in the tournaments would end. For example, those whose teams made the playoffs would be required to stay considerably longer than those knocked out after the round robins.
A number of Black Caps players, West Indian players, coaches and commentators are exempt. The New Zealand and West Indian players have come in under New Zealand Cricket bookings to an isolation hotel in Christchurch, where they will be released in time for the 1st T20 international later this month.
Coaches Shane Bond and Brendon McCullum have been included in that bubble to assist in preparation for the players while they are in isolation.
McClenaghan, a T20 "freelancer" who makes his living by playing franchise cricket around the globe, and Mills, who has moved into coaching and media roles since his retirement as a player in 2015, are not included in this bubble.
New Zealand Cricket spokesman Richard Boock said his organisation was working closely with affected parties, and the players' association in particular.
"We're working to ensure they know what government advice to follow, the websites to access and how to register for the voucher allocation scheme."
Boock said the Government had been very supportive of their situation regarding incoming tours, so they were working with affected individuals outside that 'bubble'.
"We've reached out to the White Ferns individually and have arranged to pay their accommodation from the end of their involvement in the WBBL to the date of their departure if required," Boock said.
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A number of sporting figures with schedules that are fluid by necessity have been caught out, including tennis player Michael Venus.
The 33-year-old, who has been away from his wife Sally and two-year-old daughter Lila since the beginning of August, has a flight booked back to New Zealand for next Tuesday. He made the booking some time ago before realising his European trip would likely need to be extended due to qualifying for a prestigious year-end tournament in London.
But Venus has discovered if he doesn't fly home next Tuesday, there are no quarantine vouchers available until December 20, which would mean an additional month in London after the World Tour Finals and he wouldn't see his family until the New Year.
This is the same scenario the cricketers face.
Basketballer Tom Vodanovich and his girlfriend Jade Mace were also stuck in Dubai and facing a six-week wait after being turned away from boarding a flight home following a flip-flop by Immigration New Zealand over the couple's application for an emergency voucher.
However, the couple were granted a reprieve to enter New Zealand this week.