Was in a State of Shock When I Tested Positive: Balaji
CSK bowling coach Laxmipathy Balaji was one among the batch of IPL personnel who tested positive for COVID-19.
Chennai Super Kings bowling coach Lakshmipathy Balaji said he was left shell shocked and it took him 24 hours to process the fact that he had contracted COVID-19 during the Indian Premier League, which was indefinitely suspended after bubble breaches in several franchise camps. The former Indian paceman was flown to Chennai from Delhi for treatment along with CSK batting coach Michael Hussey, who too had been infected by the virus.
"Was I scared? Initially, I could not express my feelings. I knew people were dying outside. It took me another 24 hours to sink in the seriousness of [the] issue once [my] family and friends started to message. I started to get worried. From the second day in isolation I realised I had to monitor myself, recording all the health data. I was obviously anxious," Balaji was quoted as saying to espncricinfo.com.
Balaji drew a parallel between the recovery process and Man vs Wild, the thrilling survival television series hosted by Bear Grylls. "As I was isolating on my own, having tested positive for COVID-19, a thought crossed my mind: recovering from COVID-19, both physically and mentally, is like experiencing an episode of Man vs Wild," he said.
Though Balaji couldn’t put a finger on where the pair contracted the virus, one of the places where they could have been exposed is believed to be Delhi's Roshanara Club where CSK had a practice session, according to the report.
"Then I came to know that Michael Hussey, too, had tested positive. Till day we don't know how or where we contracted the coronavirus. We had a very strict protocol within the bubble from [the] first week of March when CSK's preparatory camp started," added Balaji.
Recollecting the events of the day he realised he was down with the virus, the veteran speedster said, "On 2 May, I was feeling a bit of uneasiness. I had body ache and a mild nose block. I was tested the same day around mid-afternoon. By 3 May morning, I had tested positive. I was shocked. I had done nothing to breach the norms to endanger my and rest of the bubble's safety.’’
"Along with me, after the 2 May testing, two others including Kasi Viswanathan [Super Kings' CEO] and a helping staff member had also tested positive. To ensure it was a false positive, we were tested again the same day. I tested positive for the second time. Promptly, I was moved to another floor at the team hotel, separate from the rest of the Super Kings squad." Balaji highlighted.
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