IPL 2021: Kolkata Knight Riders spinner Varun Chakravarthy has said the toughest thing about contracting Covid-19 is keeping the mind distracted, but he also said he is hopeful of returning to training soon.
Chakravarthy was the first KKR player to test positive for the virus while the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 was going on. Eventually, the tournament had to be suspended after cases came to light in other teams as well. “The toughest thing about contracting Covid-19 is keeping your mind distracted, and away from all that was happening. Because you are alone, away from your family and team-mates. To keep myself occupied, I read books by Osho to give me a sense of calm. I’m now doing well and recovering at home. I still haven’t been able to resume training full tilt because of post-Covid-19 symptoms. Although I don’t have cough or fever, there is weakness and dizziness. The loss of smell and taste is still intermittent, but I’m confident of being able to resume training soon,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Chakravarthy as saying.
When asked about how it all started, Chakravarthy said: “As to how it all started, I felt something was slightly off on May 1. I felt tired. There was no cough whatsoever, but I had little fever, so I didn’t attend our training session. I immediately informed the team management and they arranged for an RT-PCR test quickly. I was immediately quarantined and isolated, away from the rest of my KKR teammates, in a separate wing of the hotel. Soon, I found out that I’d tested positive.”
“My first reaction was feeling worried, not only for myself, but also for what was happening around us in the country. Even a few of my family members were affected by Covid-19. It wasn’t easy, but as professionals we had to find ways to go about our work in the best possible way,” he added.
After Chakravarthy, three more KKR players — Sandeep Warrier, Tim Seifert and Prasidh Krishna — also ended up testing positive for Covid-19.
“I was in isolation for 12 days. There’s a bit of sameness to your routine: being in the same room, having the same food almost. But I just had to find ways to get through the day. I’d wake up late, around 9am, have a light breakfast, then begin my web shows and movies marathon on Netflix and Amazon Prime. In between, I’d catch up with cousins and friends over video calls. After lunch, I’d take my medicines and speak to my family. Thankfully, they handled the situation calmly, and without panic,” he said.
“The KKR franchise was very supportive. They went to the extent of even having someone from the team management stay back with me, even after the IPL was postponed and left only after I returned two negative tests and got back home. Shah Rukh Khan (Knight Riders’ co-owner) spoke to all the players individually and motivated us,” added Chakravarthy.
When asked what he would like to advice others who are battling this virus, Chakravarthy said: “The thing I’ve learnt and would like to tell other athletes and individuals recovering from Covid-19 is to give your body at least two weeks to fully recover after you test negative. Also, even after people test negative, my advice is for them to continue to mask up so that you keep others around you safe.”
“I’m relieved to have recovered fully, but it’s tough to see so many people losing their lives. I realise how fortunate I’ve been to receive good treatment in this tough time. I’m just grateful for everything and pray everyone recovers and get back to their families,” he added