‘Boss I have corona symptoms’: The Alex Hales text that led to PSL panic
Sports has come to a standstill amid the coronavirus pandemic that has gripped the world. All the cricketing events and tournaments have been either cancelled or postponed due to the infectious virus. Indian Premier League was supposed to take place during this time but that also has been postponed. However, there was one moment in March which had given a big scare to the cricketing universe.
Pakistan’s former Test captain and commentator Ramiz Raja had claimed that England’s Alex Hales might have shown symptoms of the novel coronavirus before flying back midway through the now-postponed Pakistan Super League (PSL). Raja had made the revelation after the PSL was postponed before the semifinals.
Hales quashed such talks through his social media handle. Hales’ post read: “An update on my situation, stay safe everyone.”
Now, Karachi Kings owner Salman Iqbal has revealed that Hales had texted him about the symptoms before leaving for England. He recalled that his message caused a ‘panic’ as his team were scheduled to play a semi-final against Lahore Qalandars.
“It was two o’clock in the morning in Pakistan and we had a message from Alex Hales saying: ‘Boss, I have symptoms of COVID-19 and I think you should all get tested,” Iqbal said on BBC’s ‘The Doosra Podcast’.
“I then got a call from coach Dean Jones saying he wanted to meet straight away.
“We were all scared. If you have the symptoms, you have to be isolated. I was trying hard to get somebody to Birmingham to get Hales tested.
“I even asked if my doctor from London would go to him but it couldn’t happen.
“In the end, we had to get everyone in the team tested. All of them started panicking and we postponed the tournament the next day.”
Alex Hales gave a statement on Twitter which read: “In light of the speculation and rumour that is currently circulating within the cricketing world and on social media, I felt I needed to give a full explanation of my situation. Like many other overseas players, I reluctantly left the Pakistan Super League early because, with COVID-19 reaching global pandemic status, I felt it was more important to be with my family rather than face a period of lockdown thousands of miles away from home.”
“I returned to the UK early horns on Saturday morning feeling perfectly fit and healthy and with absolutely no symptoms of the virus. However, I awoke early on Sunday morning having developed a fever and followed the government’s advice of self-isolation, a process I am still following having developed a dry and persistent cough.
“At this stage, it is not possible to be tested although I am hopeful that might be the case later today so that I can get absolute confirmation of my current health status,” the statement further added.