Seifert from New Zealand collapses as he recalls India’s COVID ordeal after IPL 2021 suspension

New Zealand goalkeeper-batsman Tim Seifert broke down in tears on Tuesday when he recalled fearing the worst after testing positive for COVID-19 in India following suspension from the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Seifert, who had been with Kolkata Knight Riders on the IPL side, was unable to leave India with other New Zealand cricketers after returning a positive test and became the last foreign player to remain in the country.

Back in New Zealand, Seifert said “his heart sank immediately” when a team official told him about his positive test.

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“The world comes to a standstill.” he told reporters on a video call from the Auckland hotel quarantine. “I just couldn’t really think about what was going to happen next. And that was the scary part.

“You hear about bad things, and I thought it was going to happen to me.”

Seifert was then overcome with emotion on the call and needed a moment to pull himself together before continuing.

“The news (in India) is about a lack of oxygen, you don’t know if you’re going to be in that situation,” he said.

“It’s just the whole unknown of what COVID is, how you’re going to react to it.”

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IPL was played in a biosecurity bubble before being suspended indefinitely on May 4 after players and staff from several teams contracted COVID-19.

Seifert only experienced mild symptoms, but stress had proven to be the biggest challenge for him.

He said the experience had not stopped him from returning to India for the Twenty20 World Cup in October, although the world tournament could be in doubt if the country is unable to weather a devastating second wave of the coronavirus.

“To be honest, the whole time I was there the bubble felt good… felt safe,” he said.

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