IPL 2021: Kolkata Knight Riders’ pacer Sandeep Warrier was all praise for KKR’s management and co-owner Shah Rukh Khan for their handling of the COVID-19 crisis inside the bubble. Warrier and Varun Chakaravarthy tested positive for COVID-19 on May 2, two days before the tournament was suspended. Now that he has recovered, Warrier thanked the management and his wife, a doctor, who helped him go through the ordeal.
“Our team doctor, Shrikant, and our manager (Wayne Bentley) and Raju (logistics) were staying back for me and Varun Chakaravarthy. They left only after we came negative. After we tested positive, we had to isolate the whole team. The next day, IPL was called off. We had a virtual meeting in which everyone was asking about me and Varun Chakaravarthy. Shah Rukh Khan also spoke to everyone saying you all will be taken back home safely and that there is nothing to worry about. For me and Varun, he was very adamant that there should be someone with us for the whole one week or 10 days after the tournament ended. Venky Mysore (CEO) also stayed back for three days,” Sandeep Warrier told News18.
IPL 2021: Sandeep Warrier lauds KKR management and Shah Rukh Khan, says ‘they ensured someone always there with us’
IPL 2021: While the KKR management did everything to keep them safe, rising cases inside other bio-bubbles meant IPL 2021 had to be suspended. While Sandeep Warrier only had mild symptoms, Varun Chakaravarthy is still recovering from post-COVID complications.
Sandeep Warrier said it was his wife who helped identify the disease first after he showed mild symptoms.
“I have no idea how it started. On May 2, we had an RT-PCR test. That morning itself, I was not feeling well. So, I quarantined myself after informing KKR. That test came negative for me, I guess it came positive for Varun Chakaravarthy. He was quarantined on another floor. Since I was negative, I thought it will be just a normal viral fever,” Sandeep Warrier recalled.
IPL 2021: However, the viral fever did not easily go away and as he consulted his wife, Aarthi, a doctor, who told him that it was COVID.
“Since Varun came positive, we took another test and I turned positive. By then, I had realised it was COVID because my wife (Aarthi) is a doctor. She told me you have covid, and the next test result will be positive for sure. She had covid six-seven months back. She had the same symptoms. She saw me on a video call and knew it was covid. I informed that to the team doctor. The next test was positive, and they took me to the non-bubble floor,” Sandeep Warrier said.
While he did not get a chance to prove his worth in IPL 2021, Sandeep Warrier did have the chance to rub shoulders with Pat Cummins and Lockie Ferguson amongst others. Now that he has recovered and shifted his home state to Tamil Nadu, Warrier is hoping for the domestic season to resume so that he can prove his worth and earn an opportunity to be included in KKR’s Playing XI.
“The next chance that I have to wait for is either domestic cricket if that happens, or the next phase of IPL if that happens, and if I get a chance. I can only prepare for that. If I get a chance there and I perform, I can go to the next step. But I can’t plan for anything ahead now. Obviously playing for India is my dream,” he added.