Laxmipathy Balaji | Sportzwiki

Laxmipathy Balaji

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

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.

The Dubai International Stadium. - BCCI/IPL
The Dubai International Stadium. - BCCI/IPL
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BCCI During Its SGM Formally Decides The Unfinished Part Of IPL 2021 Will Be At UAE

BCCI during its Special General Meeting, formally decided that the unfinished part of the Indian Premier League 2021 will be held in the United Arab Emirates.

The move to stage the IPL in the UAE was largely expected. As reported earlier, the BCCI has already had an informal agreement with the Emirates Cricket Board. The remainder of IPL 2021 has been moved to the UAE and BCCI has earmarked a window in September and October this year to conduct the matches.

BCCI Image-Twitter/ BCCI
BCCI Image-Twitter/ BCCI

BCCI Formally Decides To Stage The Remainder Of IPL 2021 In UAE

The formal decision was taken on Saturday (May 29) to move the remainder of IPL 2021 to the UAE – in view of the bad weather (monsoon) in India around September-October, when it wants to host the remaining 31 IPL games.

The biggest obstacle to host the tournament will be the non-availability of overseas players, and the Indian board has decided that the franchises will be told to take replacements, both from India and overseas, to refurbish their line-ups. England and Wales Cricket Board has already stated that it won’t release its players for the unfinished part of IPL while Cricket Australia is yet to come out with its position on the matter. A meeting with the IPL franchises will happen at some stage.

IPL Trophy.
IPL Trophy. (Photo Source: IPL/BCCI)

The spike of positive cases in the bio-bubble had already resulted in the postponement of two IPL games. Varun Chakravarthy, Sandeep Warrier (both KKR), Laxmipathy Balaji, Michael Hussey (both CSK coaches), Amit Mishra (Delhi), and Wriddiman Saha (Hyderabad) tested positive during IPL 2021 prompting organizers to indefinitely postpone IPL after 29 matches were held.

Later KKR’s Tim Seifert and Prasidh Krishna also tasted positive but all of them have hence recovered. Last year, the BCCI hosted the entire edition of the cash-rich tournament successfully in the Middle East, across three venues – Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai.

BCCI Seekd Time Till 1st Week Of July From ICC For Decision To Stage T20I World Cup In India

The board also decided to seek time till the first week of July from the International Cricket Council for a decision on staging the T20 World Cup in India. The ICC has slated its meeting on June 1 to decide on the matter, but the world body may have to defer the decision on moving the October 18-November 15 tournament out of India in view of the BCCI’s request. The BCCI thinks that it will explore all possibilities to host it in India itself.

During the meeting, it was also decided that the BCCI will pursue talks with the government over tax concession for the upcoming T20I World Cup, and it was calculated that the BCCI will have a liability of INR 900 crores if it failed to get the exemption. Considering the financial liability and the constantly evolving grieve Covid-19 situation in the country, the BCCI will take a call on staging the T20 World Cup. For the time being, it would tell the ICC to grant another month’s time.

Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
Sourav Ganguly- Twitter

Meanwhile, the issue regarding payments to domestic players, who were supposed to be compensated after several tournaments were not hosted, and was not discussed in the SGM. One of the associations even raised this issue for discussion but was turned down by Sourav Ganguly and Rajeev Shukla, stating that it was not a part of the agenda.

The meeting was also a huge assertion for Mohammed Azharuddin, who was allowed to attend it ahead of Shivlal Yadav, who in turn was nominated in a faction-ridden Annual General Meeting of the Hyderabad Cricket Association. The meeting, held virtually, decided to allow Mohammed Azharuddin after the legal department of the BCCI concluded that the claim of the former India captain is genuine.

Wriddhiman Saha. (AFP)
Wriddhiman Saha. (AFP)
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Wriddhiman Saha Claims He May Have Contracted Covid-19 After His Interaction With CSK Players

Wriddhiman Saha claims that he might have got the virus after mingling with the “CSK guys” post their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 game in Delhi last month.

Sunrisers Hyderabad wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha pointed out on Saturday that he might have contracted the coronavirus after his interactions with the Chennai Super Kings players and support staff post their game at the Arun Jaitley Stadium.

Wriddhiman Saha (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)
Wriddhiman Saha (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)

Wriddhiman Saha Claims He May Have Contracted The Virus While Interacting With A Few CSK Players

SRH and CSK played Match 23 in the capital city on April 28 which the latter won by 7 wickets. Just 5 days after the game, CSK bowling Laxmipathy Balaji tested positive for Covid-19. A day later, Wriddhiman Saha also returned a positive Covid-19 result to become the fourth player at that time to contract the virus. The rising cases forced the Board of Control for Cricket in India to suspend the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 with immediate effect.

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)

Barely 24 hours after the postponement of the league, CSK batting coach Michael Hussey also tested positive for Covid on May 5, taking the tournament’s Covid tally to 6. Wriddhiman Saha has now recovered from the virus and even returned home to Kolkata from Delhi to be with his family on May 18.

“We used the airport, landed in Delhi, and even played the CSK game there. So if I had contracted the virus at the airport, the symptoms could’ve shown up before or during the CSK game itself.

He now claims that he might have got the virus after mingling with the “CSK guys” post their game last month. KKR’s Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier, Delhi’s Amit Mishra, and SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha contracted the virus apart from the CSK coaching duo before IPL 2021’s premature postponement. Prasidh Krishna and Tim Seifert of KKR also contracted the virus after IPL 2021 was suspended.

Wriddhiman Saha Felt More Secure At UAE Bio Bubble Which Allowed Fewer People

The 36-year-old Bengal cricketer went on to add that playing IPL 2020 in the United Arab Emirates felt more secure as the people allowed inside the bio-bubble last year were much less compared to this season which is probably why there was a breach.

“When we played in the UAE last year, there used to be no one around us even during practice sessions. But here, we are sharing the space with groundsmen, people outside the ground are also peeping through the gates or over the wall. Nobody breached the bubble, so there must have been some small opening somewhere either through the driver, the Chennai team or somebody at the ground,” Saha said.

SunRisers Hyderabad
SunRisers Hyderabad. Image Credits: Twitter

SRH was placed last on the points table with just 1 win from 7 games before the IPL 2021 got postponed. Just 29 out of the scheduled 60 matches were played in the tournament till May 2. SRH management made the headlines when they relieved talisman David Warner of captaincy duties, all of a sudden, after the sixth match.

Phase 2 of the Indian Premier League – which will cover the remaining 31 matches of the 2021 edition, including the four knockout games – is set to be played in the United Arab Emirates between September and October. BCCI is likely to make the announcement on May 29 when the members assemble for a special general meeting.

Wriddhiman Saha (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)
Wriddhiman Saha (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)
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Rishabh Pant Has Done Well And Should Be India’s First-Choice Keeper, Says Wriddhiman Saha

Wriddhiman Saha was India’s best Test wicketkeeper and hence would be their first-choice on raging turners at home. 23-year-old Rishabh Pant used to keep in overseas conditions, where the ball doesn’t move much off the pitch.

In addition to his exquisite glovework, Wriddhiman Saha had vast experience. So, Indian management opted to field him in Adelaide as the Bengal boy played in foreign conditions for the first time in almost three years. India was bundled out for 36 in the second innings and eventually lost by eight wickets. Wriddhiman Saha scored 13 runs across both innings, but the manner in which he seemed to gift his wicket hurt.

India Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (Photo | PTI)
India Test wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha (Photo | PTI)

Wriddhiman Saha: Rishabh Pant Done Well And Should Be India’s First Choice Keeper In 6 Tests In England Including WTC Final

Wriddhiman Saha was then dropped. After seven Tests and two landmark series wins against Australia and England, the Adelaide debacle back in December remains his last outing for India. Rishabh Pant has earned widespread accolades for leaving an indelible mark on home conditions as well, with both the bat and the gloves.

Virat Kohli’s men will now travel to the UK for the WTC final against New Zealand and a five-Test series against England. Rishabh Pant, quite naturally, is touted to keep wickets unless some extraordinary circumstances arise. Wriddhiman Saha has accepted it. In fact, the 36-year-old was magnanimous enough to concede that his almost-certain successor merits the place.

“Rishabh Pant played the last few matches of the World Test Championship, he’s done well and he should be our first-choice keeper inEngland. I would just wait, and if any opportunity arises, I will give my best. I will keep practising for that one chance,” Wriddhiman Saha said in an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda.

Wriddhiman Saha was down with COVID-19 for more than a fortnight, thus casting doubts on his UK sojourn. However, he has recovered and is back with his family, all set to enter the pre-departure bio-bubble in Mumbai next week. BCCI on Thursday (May 20) announced Andhra wicketkeeper-batsman KS Bharat as the 25th member – supposedly a cover for Wriddhiman Saha.

Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: BCCI)
Rishabh Pant. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Wriddhiman Saha, though, has attributed the late addition to the cushion of having three keeper-batsmen in the ranks, particularly in times hostile enough.

“I didn’t have COVID-19 during the last series but KS Bharat was still with the team. Now that I contracted the infection, people are labelling him as my ‘cover’. But I feel they have picked a third keeper bearing in mind the risk outside.” Wriddhiman Saha explained.

Wriddhiman Saha’s recent exploits have been nothing to write home about or maybe draw a conclusion regarding his current fitness level. However, he cleared the air and emphatically said he has been picked for a reason.

“If the team management didn’t have faith in me, then they wouldn’t have selected me only. But that I am on that plane is because they have some faith,” Wriddhiman Saha exclaimed.

Wriddhiman Saha would have to leave his wife and two daughters behind. He has also made peace with the fact that sport cannot take place in this pandemic-strewn world without quarantine periods. Wriddhiman Saha divides his time in quarantine between catching up on web series and working on his fitness.

Wriddhiman Saha Was Among 6 Cricketers Who Contracted Covid-19 Leading To IPL’s Indefinite Postponement

But in all fairness, the forthcoming self-isolation days won’t hold any comparison to the 15 days of uncertainty and trauma he went through at a Delhi hotel earlier this month. Wriddhiman Saha was among the six positive COVID-19 cases that led to the indefinite suspension of the 14th edition of IPL 2021 on May 4. For the record, numerous ground staff was also reported to have been infected.

KKR bowlers Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier tested positive on the morning of May 3, while CSK support staff duo of Michael Hussey and Lakshmipathy Balaji was confirmed to have contracted the deadly virus that evening. DC spinner Amit Mishra and SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha’s reports came out the next morning.

But Wriddhiman Saha started feeling the tremors on May 1 and wasn’t taken to the ground for the Rajasthan Royals (RR) match on May 2 afternoon. The SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) wicketkeeper-batsman confirmed the developments while divulging further details.

“We had one practice session before playing CSK on April 28. Then before the Rajasthan game on May 2, we had two training sessions. I attended both practices and on the night of the RR game, I suddenly started feeling cold for about 20-25 minutes.

“The Rajasthan match was over by then and I didn’t travel to the ground. It was on the third day on May 3 that I reported positive,” Wriddhiman Saha, who has scored 1,987 runs at a strike rate of 131.24 in 126 IPL games, elaborated.

But the idea that a microscopic element could derail the extravagant league didn’t even cross the virus-infected players’ minds.

“Before me, two players each from KKR and CSK, and Amit Mishra had tested positive. But none of us anticipated the postponement of IPL 2021.” Wriddhiman Saha stated.

Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor V.V.S. Laxman said his side needs characters like Wriddhiman Saha, who is making a comeback following an injury lay-off. - FILE PHOTO/ AKHILESH KUMAR
Sunrisers Hyderabad mentor V.V.S. Laxman said his side needs characters like Wriddhiman Saha, who is making a comeback following an injury lay-off. – FILE PHOTO/ AKHILESH KUMAR

There could have been possible breaches of the KKR and DC bio-bubbles. Varun Chakravarthy visited a hospital for a shoulder scan before having a meal with Sandeep Warrier, who then interacted with Amit Mishra during a training session involving players from both sides.

Confirming none of the SRH players breached the bio-secure protocols, Wriddhiman Saha speculated he caught the virus from a third-party source. He also opened up on the different situations in the UAE, which seamlessly hosted IPL 2020 in September-November last year across three venues.

“We used the airport, landed in Delhi and even played the CSK game there. So if I had contracted the virus at the airport, the symptoms could’ve shown up before or during the CSK game itself. I had interacted with a few CSK guys during practice, so I feel that could have been the source.”

“When we played in the UAE last year, there used to be no one around us even during practice sessions. But here, we are sharing the space with groundsmen, people outside the ground are also peeping through the gates or over the wall.” Wriddhiman Saha told Sportskeeda.

Should the remaining 31 matches of IPL 2021 not take place, the BCCI will lose revenue worth almost INR 2,500 crore. Wriddhiman Saha doesn’t see the season resuming, especially without the big names.

“Majority of the foreigners are from Australia, England and the West Indies. So I personally feel the resumption of the league this year is doubtful. Without the overseas players, IPL will just be a enhanced version of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy,” Wriddhiman Saha opined.

BCCI is scampering to find a small window to stage the second half of IPL 2021 before the T20 World Cup in October-November. While playing in England after the Test series remains the most viable option, sources tracking developments are keeping a close eye on the UAE too.

SRH is at the bottom of the points table with one win from seven games played. They also were criticized for frequent chopping and changing – they made 10 changes to their line-up across four matches after losing their opening game to KKR by 10 runs.

Wriddhiman Saha played the first two encounters, which eventually turned out to be the only two he would play in the curtailed tournament.

“Any player can flop in a couple of matches. But if the line-up is being continuously changed, no team would be able to settle down. I would suggest, not only for SRH, but any side to pen down their best XI and play that line-up for four-five matches straight. But then, it was the management’s decision, we can’t do much about it.” Wriddhiman Saha reasoned.

The think tank comprising of Trevor Bayliss, Tom Moody, and VVS Laxman made the headlines when they relieved talisman David Warner of captaincy duties, all of a sudden, after the sixth match. David Warner expressed disapproval over dropping Manish Pandey after the first three games. Wriddhiman Saha, though, didn’t delve deeper into the speculation.

“It is completely up to the team management – a player can warm the bench after performing well and can even play all the games despite not performing at all.” Wriddhiman Saha said.

Wriddhiman Saha has scored 8 runs off 15 deliveries so far in IPL 2021. He smashed 184 runs off just 122 balls across the final three league games of IPL 2020, before being ruled out with a hamstring tear ahead of the playoffs. Then came the Adelaide humiliation. He was only given two chances as an opener for SRH before a virus confined him to a room for more than two weeks.

When asked about the misfortune he has experienced late, Wriddhiman Saha said he tries not to get affected by his performances on the field. He added that he never compromises on practice and always strives for improvement.

“I try to be the same irrespective of the situation. Practice remains the same, irrespective of whether I am playing or not.” Wriddhiman Saha added in this regard.

He has spoken fondly of his time with CSK when he got some invaluable advice from the great MS Dhoni.

“Virat is in my team, so yeah I discuss cricket with him at times.” Wriddhiman Saha, who has amassed 1,251 runs from 38 Tests, mentioned.

Making India’s limited-overs sides now look like a distant dream for Wriddhiman Saha who is championing a bigger and noble cause. He once again insisted that postponing IPL 2021 was the correct decision.

“Before that, I want India and the rest of the world to recover from this pandemic. After that, if any opportunity comes, I would definitely want to play but before that I pray for the well-being of everybody,” he concluded.

Wriddhiman Saha might have his eye on the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament in September, and if time permits the Ranji Trophy, which is slated to begin in December.

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)
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There Was Certainly More Risk Once We Left That Mumbai Bubble, Says Michael Hussey

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

Michael Hussey, who had tested positive for COVID-19 in India, reached Australia on Monday by a commercial flight from Doha after testing negative. He is now undergoing 14-day hotel quarantine in Sydney as per protocols.

Chennai Super Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)
Chennai Super Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)

Michael Hussey Felt Some Of The Covid-19 Symptoms And Admitted Involvement Of Risk Once Leaving The Mumbai Bio Bubble And Going To Delhi

Opening up on the tough times he endured in India, Michael Hussey revealed that once the tournament moved to Delhi from Mumbai, he started feeling unwell. While he initially returned negative tests, the Australian knew something was wrong when CSK bowling coach Laxmipathy Balaj tested positive. Michael Hussey had been sitting next to him on the team bus.

Speaking to foxsports.com.au, Michael Hussey recalled: “My initial test came up as a weak positive, and we were sort of hoping the next would be negative and it’d be alright, but unfortunately I got retested the next day and that came back positive.

“To be honest, I had already started feeling some of the symptoms and so I was thinking, ‘I’m pretty sure I’ve got it. Plus I was sitting next to the bowling coach on the bus a few times, so I thought, ‘If he’s got it then there’s a pretty good chance I’ve got it as well’.”

CSK batting coach Mike Hussey (L), Bowling coach L Balaji (R)(HT Collage)
CSK batting coach Mike Hussey (L), Bowling coach L Balaji (R)(HT Collage)

Michael Hussey admitted that while he felt safe in the Mumbai bio-bubble, shifting to Delhi saw him and others get exposed to the likes of airport security, baggage handlers, and pilots, who were not part of the bubble.

“So there was a risk there. It (also) could have been at the ground; there was ground staff while we were there training and on game day. There was certainly more risk once we left that Mumbai bubble,” Hussey added.

The 14th edition of the IPL was suspended on May 4 after four players tested positive for COVID-19 inside its bio-bubble. Having recovered from COVID-19, Chennai Super Kings batting coach Michael Hussey left for Australia on Sunday via Doha, a top official of the IPL franchise said. Following an RT-PCR test, the former Australia batsman had returned negative for COVID-19 on Friday, paving the way for his departure in the early hours of Sunday.

Michael Hussey Felt Covid-19 Virus Take Its Toll For A While

Michael Hussey and Laxmipathy Balaji, both of whom were detected with COVID-19, were brought to Chennai from Delhi in an air ambulance. Asked about his initial reaction when he found out that he had tested positive, Michael Hussey replied that he was a bit annoyed.

“I was a bit like, ‘Oh gosh, why me’, but I didn’t really think too much at all. I thought it was a bit of a shame. But I certainly wasn’t worried about my breathing or things like that. It was just a bit annoying, really,” Hussey said.

CSK batting coach Mike Hussey(Twitter)
CSK batting coach Mike Hussey(Twitter)

Mike Hussey went on to add that the virus did take a toll on his health.

“Looking back on it now, it probably did knock me around a bit more than I thought at the time. At the time I thought I didn’t feel great, but not life-threatening or anything like that. But it does take its toll on you after a while I guess,” he added.

Mike Hussey touched down in Australia the same day the contingent stranded in the Maldives reached home safely. After finishing his two-week hotel quarantine, Michael Hussey will take a flight to Perth to join his family.

Michael Hussey aside, the other Australians involved in the 2021 edition of IPL, including Pat Cummins, Steve Smith, David Warner, and Michael Slater, took a detour to the Maldives and quarantined there before heading back to Australia.

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings. Image Credits: Twitter
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Chennai Super Kings Pledged To Donate 450 Oxygen Concentrators To Tamil Nadu Government

Chennai Super Kings, Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise on Saturday pledged to donated 450 oxygen concentrators to the Tamil Nadu government which will help them in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chennai Super Kings director R Srinivasan handed over the oxygen concentrators to Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin at his office in Chennai on Saturday. R Srinivasan handed over the oxygen concentrators to the state’s Chief Minister MK Stalin, with the president of Tamil Nadu Cricket Association Rupa Gurunath also present.

CSKCL Director Mr R Srinivasan, handed over an oxygen concentrator to the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, MK Stalin, on Saturday. - CSKCL MEDIA
CSKCL Director Mr. R Srinivasan, handed over an oxygen concentrator to the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, MK Stalin, on Saturday. – CSKCL MEDIA

Chennai Super Kings Donated  450 Oxygen Concentrators To Be Used For The Benefit Of Covid-19 Patients

The three-time champions have tied up with Bhoomika Trust, an NGO involved in Covid relief operations, to procure the oxygen concentrators. The first consignment of oxygen concentrators has arrived and the remaining is expected to reach early next week. The oxygen concentrators will be used for the “benefit of Covid patients being treated in Government hospitals and the Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC)-run Covid care centres.”

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)

India’s healthcare infrastructure is reeling under the pressure of the deadly second wave of Covid-19 over the last few weeks. India added more than 4.01 lakh new Covid-19 cases in the last 24 hours with a record 4,187 fatalities.

“The people of Chennai and Tamil Nadu form the very heartbeat of the Super Kings and we want them to know that we are all together in this fight against the pandemic,” CSK CEO Mr. KS Viswanathan said.

Hospitals in several states have been complaining of shortage of oxygen for weeks which forced the Supreme Court on Saturday to form a 12-member national task force that would be tasked with formulating a methodology for the “scientific allocation of medical oxygen”.

Chennai Super Kings Were Also Hit By The Covid-19 Virus After Both Batting And Bowling Coach Tested Positive And Shifted To Chennai

Chennai Super Kings were themselves hit hard by the virus after bowling and batting coaches Laxmipathy Balaji and Michael Hussey tested positive for Covid-19 in Delhi, earlier this week, which also contributed to the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s decision to suspend the IPL 2021 for an indefinite period.

Laxmipathy Balaji and Michael Hussey have since been shifted to Chennai for further treatment. Notably, CSK captain MS Dhoni has decided to stay back in Delhi until all his teammates depart from the capital city, some of whom have already reached home.

Laxmipathy Balaji and Michael Hussey recently tested positive for Covid-19.
Laxmipathy Balaji and Michael Hussey recently tested positive for Covid-19.

4 players namely Varun Chakravarthy (Kolkata Knight Riders), Sandeep Warrier (KKR), Wriddhiman Saha (Sunrisers Hyderabad), and Amit Mishra (Delhi Capitals) – also returned positive results on May 3 and 4. Two more KKR cricketers – Tim Siefert and Prasidh Krishna – tested positive on Saturday.

CSK started with a defeat against Delhi Capitals but later bounced back with 5 straight wins before losing to MI in a high-scoring thriller in the last game before IPL 2021 was postponed. They held the 2nd spot in IPL 2021 points table with 5 wins in 7 matches. For CSK, Deepak Chahar, Sam Curran, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis, Moeen Ali, and Ravindra Jadeja impressed with notable performances.

Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Twitter)
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If We Fail To Complete The IPL, The Loss Will Be Close To INR 2500 Crore: Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly, BCCI president has said the board will face losses amounting to about Rs 2,500 crore if the remaining matches of IPL 2021 are not completed.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly on Thursday opened up on the resumption of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 later this year. He also revealed the board is staring at a staggering loss if the remaining matches of the tournament are not completed this year.

IPL Trophy
IPL Trophy, Image Credits: Twitter

Sourav Ganguly: BCCI To Speak To Other Boards And See Whether A Window Can Be Made Available Before The T20 World Cup

Sourav Ganguly said the board is looking at a window before the T20 World Cup this year to complete the remainder of the IPL 2021 season. The league was suspended on Tuesday (May 04) after a string of fresh COVID-19 cases were reported across the bio-bubbles of four teams. A total of 4 players ( 2 from Kolkata Knight Riders, and one each from Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Capitals) tested positive along with support staff at the Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

Sourav Ganguly- Twitter
Sourav Ganguly- Twitter

Sourav Ganguly said BCCI will be talking to the board of the other countries to zero in on a slot later this year. He also stated that the board is staring at losses to the tune of around Rs 2,500 crore if the remaining games are not completed this year.

“There has got to be a lot of shuffling. Only a day has passed since we suspended the IPL. We have to speak to other boards and see if a window can be made available before the T20 World Cup,” Ganguly told The Telegraph.

The spike of positive cases in the bio-bubble had already resulted in the postponement of two IPL games. Varun Chakravarthy, Sandeep Warrier (both KKR), Laxmipathy Balaji, Michael Hussey (both CSK coaches), Amit Mishra (Delhi), and Wriddiman Saha (Hyderabad) tested positive during IPL 2021 prompting organizers to indefinitely postpone IPL after 29 matches were held.

Sourav Ganguly:  If BCCI Fail To Complete IPL, Loss Incurred Will Be Close To Rs. 2500 Crores According To Early Estimates

The sudden postponement of the IPL, combined with the situation in the country, has forced BCCI into looking at other options for the resumption of the tournament. Last year, the BCCI hosted the entire edition of IPL 2020 in UAE across three venues – Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai – which could serve as a potential venue this year as well. The second option that is being explored is to stage the remaining season at the backend of the English season. The third option is to barter the hosting rights of the T20 World Cup with Australia.

“Lot of things are involved and we will slowly start working on them. If we fail to complete the IPL, the loss will be close to INR 2500 crore (USD 340 million approx). That is going by early estimates,” he added.

T20 World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)
T20 World Cup trophy. (Photo Source: Twitter)

IPL 2021 was scheduled to conclude on May 30 but the tournament had to be halted after just 29 matches due to COVID-19. Last year, the full season of IPL was conducted smoothly in the UAE despite the pandemic and the BCCI is likely to take the same route once again this year to complete the remaining IPL 2021 matches.

IPL Governing Council chairman, Brijesh Patel, has confirmed that the BCCI is looking at pre and post-T20 World Cup windows to organize the remaining IPL 2021 games.  A group of counties in England has also expressed interest in hosting the remainder of the IPL 2021 season and has written to the ECB to extend their proposal to the BCCI.

Chennai Super Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)
Chennai Super Kings (Image Credit: Twitter)
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Chennai Super Kings Have Flown Their Covid-19 Positive Coaches To Chennai

Chennai Super Kings have flown their coaches Michael Hussey and Laxmipathy Balaji to Chennai from Delhi. The duo tested positive for COVID-19 a few days back.

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) was one of the four franchises hit by the second wave of COVID-19 earlier this week as a total of 4 cases were reported from their camp. On Monday (May 3), CSK’s bowling coach Laxmipathy Balaji, their CEO Kasi Viswanathan and one of the members of their camp tested positive for the infection. Kasi Viswanathan tested negative in the second round of testing.

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings. Image Credits: Twitter

Chennai Super Kings Decided To Bring Michael Hussey And Laxmipathy Balaji To Chennai By An Air Ambulance

A day later, it was confirmed that Chennai Super Kings batting coach Michael Hussey has also contracted the virus. The sudden increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in different camps led to the suspension of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021.

CSK batting coach Mike Hussey (L), Bowling coach L Balaji (R)(HT Collage)
CSK batting coach Mike Hussey (L), Bowling coach L Balaji (R)(HT Collage)

The BCCI and IPL franchises are doing their bit possible for the safe return of the players back to their countries. Those franchises hit by COVID-19 have an extra responsibility to take care of their members who have contracted the virus. As per PTI, CSK has flown their coaches to Chennai by air ambulance.

Speaking to PTI, an official confirmed the update and said: “We decided to bring Hussey and Balaji to Chennai by an air ambulance as we have better contacts here and wanted to ensure better medical facilities in case of any need.”

As per the protocols laid down by BCCI, the positive COVID-19 members can only leave for their homes after they recover from the infection. It means an extended stay for Michael Hussey in India.

Michael Hussey Is In Chennai While Other Australians Have Flown To The Maldives

The former Australian batsman is now in Chennai while the other members of the Australian contingent have flown to the Maldives. They will land there soon. The update was confirmed by Cricket Australia, who also announced that they haven’t sought an exemption from the Australian government. Australia has banned direct and indirect flights from India till May 15.

 Delhi Capitals veteran Amit Mishra tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday (BCCI Image)
Delhi Capitals veteran Amit Mishra tested positive for coronavirus on Tuesday (BCCI Image)

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), Delhi Capitals (DC), and Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) are other franchises hit by COVID-19. SRH’s Wriddhiman Saha tested positive for the infection while DC’s Amit Mishra is COVID-19 positive. KKR’s Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier are also in isolation after testing positive for the infection.

Chennai Super Kings decided not to play Rajasthan Royals on Wednesday after several members tested Covid-19 positive. It is the second match to be rescheduled after Monday’s game between the Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Kolkata Knight Riders was also postponed.

MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)
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IPL 2021 Suspended: Mahendra Singh Dhoni Wants To Be The Last Man To Leave Hotel And Board Flight Home

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Chennai Super Kings captain has reportedly delayed his return to Ranchi as he wants all his CSK teammates to depart first. According to a report, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has informed all his teammates that he will be the last person to board the flight back home.

The ongoing season of Indian Premier League 2021 was suspended due to a number of players including Amit Mishra, Wriddhiman Saha, Sandeep Warrier, Varun Chakravarthy, and CSK bowling and batting coaches Laxmipathy Balaji and Michael Hussey testing positive for covid-19 despite being in bio-bubble.

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings. Image Credits: Twitter

Mahendra Singh Dhoni Wants To Be The Last Person To Leave The Hotel

The franchises and teams are making their way home, but Mahendra Singh Dhoni, in a virtual meeting with his CSK teammates, reportedly said that since the IPL was happening in India, the foreign players and support staff should be given preference to travel first so that they can reach their homes abroad.

“Mahi(Dhoni) said that he will be the last person to leave the hotel. He wanted foreigners to leave first, then the Indian players. He will be taking the last flight tomorrow when everyone reaches their home safe and secure,” a member of CSK was quoted as saying by Indian Express.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (BCCI/IPL)

Meanwhile, The Englishmen were the first ones out with eight of them landing in London, while the Australians awaited an escape to the Maldives as the now-suspended IPL’s foreign recruits charted their way back home assisted by the BCCI on Wednesday.

Jos Buttler Lands In London While Eoin Morgan Expected To Board A Flight To London Within The Next 48 Hours

Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Sam Billings, Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali, and Jason Roy landed in London to begin a 10-day quarantine before heading to their respective homes. IPL 2021 was suspended indefinitely on Tuesday after 29 games were played due to multiple COVID-19 cases in its bio-bubble.

Jos Buttler, Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2021
Jos Buttler, Rajasthan Royals, IPL 2021
[photo: Twitter]
England skipper Eoin Morgan, Dawid Malan, and Chris Jordan are expected to board a flight to London within the next 48 hours.

Among New Zealanders returning to New Zealand from India are Stephen Fleming, Brendon McCullum, Kyle Mills, Shane Bond, Mike Hesson, Tim Seifert, Adam Milne, Scott Kuggeleijn, and James Pamment. Besides Kane Williamson, the UK-bound group includes Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Mitchell Santner, Chris Donaldson (trainer), Tommy Simsek (physio), Lockie Ferguson, Jimmy Neesham, and Finn Allen.

Punjab Kings co-owner Ness Wadia. - PTI
Punjab Kings co-owner Ness Wadia. - PTI
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Ness Wadia Backed BCCI’s Decision To Host IPL 2021 In India

Ness Wadia, Punjab Kings (PBKS) co-owner on Tuesday backed the BCCI’s decision to host IPL-14 in India amid the COVID-19 threat, saying that was the “right call” before the situation deteriorated quickly.

The Indian Premier League 2021 was on Tuesday suspended indefinitely after multiple COVID-19 cases were reported in its bio-bubble, ending a month-long relatively smooth run for cricket’s most glamorous event in the middle of a raging pandemic.

Punjab Kings co-owner Ness Wadia Image Source : IPLT20.COM
Punjab Kings co-owner Ness Wadia Image Source: IPLT20.COM

Ness Wadia: Best Decision Taken To Suspend IPL 2021 But Defends Decision To Held IPL 2021 In India Before Conditions Deteriorated

Ness Wadia welcomed the decision to suspend the league for the time being.

“Best decision has been taken given the circumstances. A lot of people are suffering in India,” Wadia told PTI.

As far as hosting the event was concerned in the first place, he said, “Due diligence was done before the IPL but no one is perfect. The right call was taken to hold it in India ahead of the World Cup it is just unfortunate that the situation deteriorated so quickly.”

Varun Chakravarthy (File Photo)
Varun Chakravarthy (File Photo)

The decision to postpone the league was announced after SunRisers Hyderabad batsman Wriddhiman Saha and Delhi Capitals spinner Amit Mishra joined the infected players’ list, which already had Kolkata Knight Riders’ Varun Chakravarthy and Sandeep Warrier. Chennai Super Kings’ bowling coach Laxmipathy Balaji was among the prominent non-playing staff to test positive.

Wadia added, “If the ground staff wasn’t part of the whole bubble then that needs to be fixed. Also cutting down the venues also need to be considered forward to reduce the risk.”

The league organizers also issued a formal statement postponing the IPL 2021 and said that the safety of its players and staff is paramount. Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 was suspended by The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), on Tuesday, due to at least six covid-19 cases in 4 franchises.

Ness Wadia: Holding IPL 2021 In UAE Won’t Have Made A Difference

He said holding the league in UAE, which hosted it last year due to the pandemic back home, would not have made any difference. The BCCI successfully staged the IPL 2020 across Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah in UAE and while there were certain Covid cases reported there as well, the tournament went on smoothly without much hassle.

“I don’t think this has got anything to do in a specific country (India or UAE) would have made a difference. Everyone tried their best sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t.”

Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson pulled out of IPL 14 while Andrew Tye decided to leave midway | Twitter
Adam Zampa and Kane Richardson pulled out of IPL 14 while Andrew Tye decided to leave midway | Twitter

Speaking of criticism by foreign players such as Australia’s Adam Zampa and Andrew Tye, who had flown back to their country after withdrawing midway from the league, Ness Wadia pointed out that the situation was very different when the tournament started.

“Hats off to the Indian players who have been playing non-stop in bubbles and not complained unlike some of the foreign players.With due respect to the international cricketers including Zampa, the situation was very different a month ago.

“They should study the fact that cases were very less when we started before commenting on it. It happened during the Australia Open they shut the city down when it was happening. People didn’t complain then, why now,” Ness Wadia asked.

Apart from umpire Nitin Menon and Delhi Capitals’ spin all-rounder Ravichandran Ashwin, three Australians Andrew Tye (Rajasthan Royals), Kane Richardson, and Adam Zampa (both Royal Challengers Bangalore) left earlier midway in the tournament due to rising Covid-19 cases and fearing future travel bans.

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