Kolkata pace bowler Sandeep Warrier was one of the players from the Indian T20 League who tested positive for the Covid-19 virus before the tournament was eventually postponed earlier this month. 

Although the 30-year-old bowler is on his road to recovery, he mentioned how the virus has taken a toll on his body. Speaking to Cricket Next, Warrier also explained how the Kolkata management and co-owner, Shah Rukh Khan supported the players during the testing times. 

“Our team doctor, manager and logistics in-charge were staying back for me and Varun Chakravarthy. They left only after we came negative. So we were fine,” he said.

“Shah Rukh sir 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) sir also stayed back for three days,” Warrier added.

The Kerala-born bowler shifted to Tamil Nadu in 2020 to continue playing domestic cricket. Having played league cricket in Chennai previously, the transition has been relatively smooth for Warrier.

“It is like my home team only. Even in the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament, Dinesh (Karthik) anna was also saying that; for the first time, someone who has come from outside had gelled so well that nobody feels I am from outside. It feels like you’ve been here for so long,” the right-arm pacer said.  

Warrier has taken 186 wickets in 57 games at the first-class level and even served as a net bowler for the Indian cricket team in the home series against England earlier this year.

However, he believes that the lack of opportunity at the domestic level due to the ongoing pandemic will prevent him from making a case for national selection. We saw how the Indian domestic cricket suffered in 2020 and not much is expected to change in the time to come with rising Covid-19 cases in the country. 

“With no Ranji Trophy for the last one and a half years, and I don’t think there will be any Ranji this year as well. No red-ball cricket, no India A tours… I don’t know how to push for national selection,” Warrier bemoaned.

Featured photo: Twitter/KolkataKnightRiders