Michael Hussey Opens Up On Battling With Covid-19 During IPL 2021 India Leg

Michael Hussey Opens Up On Battling With Covid-19 During IPL 2021 India Leg

Michael Hussey has now been cleared to return to Australia on a commercial flight via Doha BCCI/IPL
Michael Hussey has now been cleared to return to Australia on a commercial flight via Doha BCCI/IPL

Michael Hussey recounted his horrific battle with COVID-19 during the 2021 Indian Premier League. Michael Hussey had tested positive for the virus during the India leg of IPL 2021. The 2021 Indian Premier League (IPL) season was a unique edition as it was played in two halves in two different countries.

While the first leg took place in India during the summer, the second half took place in September-October in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Unfortunately, it was a COVID-19 outbreak across the league in May, which forced the tournament to be suspended and completed in the UAE later in the year. Out of the people to test positive, one was Chennai Super Kings‘ (CSK) batting coach Michael Hussey.

Michael Hussey opened up on his CoVId-19 experience during IPL 2021
Michael Hussey opened up on his Covid-19 experience during IPL 2021  |  Photo Credit: IANS

Michael Hussey Felt Uneasy Flying To Covid-19 Hit India And After Getting Affected Was Isolated, Worried and Feeling Progressively Worse

Michael Hussey has opened up on his ordeal with the disease and described his experience of sitting in a body bag to be shifted from Delhi to Chennai in an air ambulance. The CSK coach also claimed he had doubts over coming to India from ‘the safest place in the world.’

In a column, Hussey wrote, “I felt uneasy when the time came to leave Perth earlier this year to coach with the Chennai Super Kings at the Indian Premier League.‘Why am I leaving one of the safest places in the world?”

“But I love my job and I had made a commitment to coach at the IPL. So, despite my nervousness, I flew to India and embarked on the mandatory seven-day quarantine which was a prerequisite for entering the IPL bubble,” he added. 

Michael Hussey was recuperating in Chennai after testing positive for Covid-19 (File Photo - TOI)
Michael Hussey was recuperating in Chennai after testing positive for Covid-19 (File Photo – TOI)

Michael Hussey spoke about his experience after being one of the support staff testing positive for COVID-19 and his isolation at the time. He described how his symptoms continued to get progressively worse in the beginning.

“I was locked in my room immediately. No one could come in, and I obviously couldn’t leave. Food was left outside my door like in quarantine. I was isolated, a bit worried and feeling progressively worse,” said Hussey. 

He further said, “My symptoms: I had a bad fever to the point where I was changing my shirt four or five times a night from sweating out. I had a relentless dry, barking cough. And I was really tired. I would try and sit at my desk to do some work, but quickly feel the need for a lie-down. I would wake up from what felt like a quick nap to realise three or so hours had passed.”

Michael Hussey, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) batting coach, believes that travelling from Mumbai to Delhi during the course of the IPL 2021 first Indian leg exposed all those involved to greater risk.

Michael Hussey and CSK bowling coach Laxmipathy Balaji, both of whom were detected with COVID-19, were brought to Chennai from Delhi in an air ambulance.

Michael Hussey Realized He Was Probably In The Worst Place To Get Covid-19

Michael Hussey claimed that the worsening COVID-19 situation in Delhi became a source of worry for doctors and led to his decision to be taken to Chennai in an air ambulance.

He wrote “The doctor with the team was concerned. He realised I was probably in the worst place in the world to get Covid at that time. Delhi was recording hundreds of thousands of known new cases a day, there were very few hospital beds and many, many more people lining up outside the hospitals in need of them.”

“If things turned bad, the doctor wasn’t sure if I could get the medical assistance I would need. They decided the best thing to do was to fly me back to Chennai, the team’s home base,” added Hussey. 

File photos of Delhi Capitals' Amit Mishra (left) with SRH's Wriddhiman Saha. Image Source : IPLT20.COM
File photos of Delhi Capitals’ Amit Mishra (left) with SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha. Image Source: IPLT20.COM

Michael Hussey further described that he had to sit in a fully zipped body-bad to take the flight to Chennai.

“All I could do was trust them. Once we got to the airport, I was wheeled straight onto the plane on a stretcher inside the body bag. The air ambulance flight to Chennai took about three and a half hours. Then it was back into an ambulance and straight to a quarantine hotel,” said the CSK assistant coach. 

Michael Hussey concluded by saying he felt ‘lucky’ after seeing the suffering of so many people around the country.

“All that said, I was incredibly lucky. There were so many people in worse situations than me. I had an employer that went out of its way to look after me at a time of crisis for the country. As confronting as it was to be sick and stranded, having people on the ground with your best interests at heart was very comforting,” said the Australian. 

Michael Hussey returned to the CSK camp for the UAE leg of IPL 2021 and oversaw the team’s fourth title victory as they defeated Kolkata Knight Riders in the final.

KKR spinner Varun Chakravarthy and pacer Sandeep Warrier returned with positive results. Then, however, the governing bodies were forced to take the massive step as two more players – SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha and DC’s Amit Mishra were infected by the virus.

The virus had wreaked havoc in India at that time, claiming thousands of lives. Prasidh Krishna, who has been picked as a standby player for England tour, became the fourth Kolkata Knight Riders player to test positive for Covid-19. Earlier KKR wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert was reported to have tested positive for Covid-19.

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