IPL 2021: After two weeks of uncertainty over his return to Australia, Chennai Super Kings’ batting coach Michael Hussey is a relieved man. He returned home on Sunday as the entire Australian contingent stationed in the Maldives. But he didn’t even think once that he would be able to return so quickly. Hussey tested positive for COVID-19 on May 3 a day before the IPL 2021 was suspended for multiple cases inside IPL’s bio-bubbles. CSK airlifted the former Australian batsman along with Laxmipathy Balaji, CSK’s bowling coach and former Indian pacer.
After Balaji tested positive, Michael Hussey was mentally preparing for a COVID-positive result too as he sat next to the bowler in the team bus.
“I wasn’t surprised. 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. 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’,” Michael Hussey explained to Fox Sports.
“Plus, I was sitting next to the bowling coach (L Balaji) 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’,” Hussey added. L Balaji also recovered from COVID-19 and returned home in Chennai.
IPL 2021: Michael Hussey experienced mild symptoms. He said he had a bad cough, fever and felt really tired at all times. “But I certainly wasn’t worried about my breathing or things like that. It was just a bit annoying, really,” Hussey added.
“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,” Michael Hussey said.
IPL 2021: While the Australian contingent that was moved to the Maldives was left frustrated, angry and annoyed at the fact that they could not return home as their government had imposed a travel ban that included even its own citizens, Hussey chose to concentrate on recovery. Being isolated at a Chennai facility, he could not do much.
“I wasn’t thinking about getting home too much to start with. I was focusing on just trying to get better again, really,” Michael Hussey said.
Chennai Super Kings’ initial plan was to move him to the Maldives with the rest of the contingent and then take a flight to Australia on May 16 when the travel ban was supposed to end. However, the Maldives, facing its own surge of cases, banned travellers from India. The situation was made complicated when 70 Australians who were supposed to take repatriation flights back home tested positive with many coming in contact with COVID-19 positive patients.
That meant, Chennai Super Kings had to come up with a different plan and send him to Doha and from there take a commercial flight to Sydney. That’s what he ended up doing.
“We were a bit nervous obviously with flights being cancelled left, right and centre, but thankfully it all went quite smoothly and it’s good to be back. Even once we arrived in Sydney, the police and the staff at the airport were all really friendly and made you feel as comfortable as they could because it’s obviously not the nicest experience,” Michael Hussey said.