New Zealand’s Tim Seifert, who was the last player to leave India following his Covid diagnosis, recalled the horror fortnight he endured following testing positive, and described it a heart-sinking experience. Seifert, who is now in isolation in New Zealand, broke down while talking about the same.
What was supposed to be a memorable two months turned out to be the worst few days of Tim Seifert’s life as the New Zealander ended up getting stranded in India after contracting COVID-19. The 2021 edition of the IPL was called off mid-way due to a COVID outbreak, but while Seifert’s Kiwi teammates exited the country following the tournament’s cancelation, the wicket-keeper found himself stuck in India due to contracting the virus.
Currently in isolation in New Zealand, an emotional Seifert recalled the harrowing two weeks he spent in India, describing the lonely days as a ‘heart-sinking’ experience which led him to visualizing worst-case scenarios.
"The world stops a little bit, I just couldn't really think what was next and that's the scary part of it - you hear about things, and I thought that was going to happen to me," Seifert said while breaking down.
"I got pulled aside and told I had tested positive and my heart sank straightaway when everyone left. I was the only overseas player basically still left in India out of the whole tournament. That's when things got a little bit real. My room looked over the entrance of the hotel so when they were leaving I was waving goodbye to them.
"The news is all about a lack of oxygen, you don't know if you're going to be in that situation. It's just the whole unknown of what Covid is, how you're going to react to it.”
Seifert tested positive in Ahmedabad, but was soon moved to a medical facility in Chennai, where he received treatment and subsequently recovered. The 26-year-old thanked KKR coach Brendon McCullum and also the Chennai Super Kings management for making arrangements to ensure he remained safe.
"It definitely was hard and I couldn't thank Brendon and Fleming enough, they made everything a lot easier.
“Making sure things would be put in place and the KKR, the CSK support staff, management, CEO of KKR - they made life easy for me to know that everything would be alright and when that time was to come home, they would do everything to get me home safely and on time."
Seifert was one of more than half-a-dozen members who tested positive during the tournament, but the Kiwi opener reiterated that he felt safe during his time in the competition. Seifert revealed that, prior to coming to India, he spoke to English players and asserted that at no point did he feel unsafe inside the bio-bubble.
"Talking to some of the English boys that were over there before the IPL... everything that they were saying was doing well. You only kind of heard good things, the structures, and all the plans that have been put in place. That was a good point of view for a player to go over there, and to be honest the whole time while I was over there, the bubble felt good... felt safe."
Seifert, despite having spent one and a half seasons with KKR, is yet to debut in the IPL.