Chennai Super Kings (CSK) pacer Deepak Chahar has asserted that none of the team members breached the COVID-19 appropriate protocols during IPL 2021. He speculated that the inter-state travel for the matches might have been a possible reason for members of the franchise contracting the virus.
CSK CEO Kasi Viswanathan, bowling coach L Balaji, and a bus cleaner tested positive for COVID-19 on May 3. Batting coach Michael Hussey also tested positive the following day. Deepak Chahar also said that despite the rising cases in the camp, other team members didn’t panic and handled the situation calmly.
“Once some reports came positive, the team management told us to isolate. We had tests every day and the reports came negative, so that was a big relief. But none of the players panicked and everyone handled it well. No protocol was breached. But obviously, I don’t know what went wrong,” said Chahar told Sportstar.
“It is really difficult to say because all the players followed the bubble strictly. When you create a bubble from one city to another, it may be a difficult task. But I am not in a position to say, what exactly happened,” Chahar added.
Hussey was last reported to be displaying mild symptoms and under the care of the CSK management in Chennai by Cricket Australia. The franchise has also revealed that Balaji is asymptomatic and ‘doing fine’.
Playing for the public was the motivation: Deepak Chahar
Deepak Chahar also revealed how the players kept their heads straight for cricket amid a dire situation in the country. The 28-year-old said entertaining the public was his biggest ‘motivation’.
“It was challenging, but it was also important to have the IPL in these times. There was so much gloom, but at least we could entertain them for a few hours. We were playing for the public and that was the motivation,” said Chahar.
Deepak Chahar was one of the top performers for CSK in IPL 2021. In 7 matches, he picked up 8 wickets at an average of 24.12.