Drag-flicker Varun Kumar says contracting Covid-19 was unlike any other setback

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NEW DELHI, Oct 14 (PTI): Indian hockey team’s drag-flicker Varun Kumar says the feeling of contracting the deadly Covid-19 virus was “unlike any other” setback he had faced in his career and he is happy that he has come out of it.

Kumar was one of the six national team hockey players, including captain Manpreet Singh, who had tested positive for the coronavirus at the Sports Authority of India Centre in Bangalore in August. All of them have recovered from the dreaded disease.

“As sportsmen, you face a lot of different challenges in your career. There are ups and downs, frustration when you can’t score, disappointment of defeats and joys of winning. But this feeling of having tested positive for Covid-19 was unlike any other,” the youngster said.

“I felt like I had a moral responsibility towards everyone around me, to ensure I don’t end up passing it to someone else. And I am really happy that all six of us could recover well,” added the defender from Punjab.

Kumar, who was a part of the FIH Junior World Cup winning India team in 2016, said the SAI and Hockey India ensured that all the Covid-19 protocols and guidelines are followed by the players.

“Hockey India and SAI provided us with the best of facilities to tackle this challenge. It was due to their efforts that we managed to survive this unusual storm, and the care we received from all quarters meant that we could eliminate the virus without causing any damage to anyone,” he said in a release.

He said the players are now following to the ‘T’ the instructions of chief coach Graham Reid and scientific advisor to return to their best.

“We are on the right path, and having resumed sports activities, I feel like I am regaining my rhythm. There is no better feeling than playing hockey, and having been away from it, you get a sense of what you’ve missed out on as well.”

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