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Home / Cricket / ‘I’ve actually had it’: Former England cricketer Ian Botham narrates his experience with Covid-19

‘I’ve actually had it’: Former England cricketer Ian Botham narrates his experience with Covid-19

Even though it started its effects in China in December but the world understood the graveness of the situation much later. There have been several cases which went undetected during the early phase of the infection.

cricket Updated: Jun 29, 2020 18:19 IST
hindustantimes.com
hindustantimes.com
Hindustan Times, Delhi
File image of Ian Botham.
File image of Ian Botham.(Getty Images for Laureus)

The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc over the world. The highly contagious infection has spread and infected millions. Although it started in China in December, the world understood the graveness of the situation much later. There have been several cases that went undetected during the early phase of the infection and one such instance has been narrated by former England all-rounder Ian Botham, who claimed that he got infected by the dreaded coronavirus early this year but mistook it for “a bad case of flu”.

“I think the thing to remember is that six months ago no-one even knew what this was, hadn’t heard of it,” Botham told Good Morning Britain.

“I’ve actually had it. I had it at the end of December, beginning of January, and I thought I had a bad case of flu. It’s amazing how long it has been around, we don’t know all the details. It was very much a sort of in the dark, let’s see what happens.”

Botham urged people to show a bit of patience and hopes things improve over the next couple of weeks. “I think people have been responding extremely well. I hope they show a bit more patience over the next couple of weeks or so, so we can get to a situation where everybody can move around,” he said.

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Many cricketers such as English spinner Jack Leach have narrated their stories where they felt that they had Covid-19-like symptoms but could not assert it as tests weren’t available during the early phase of the pandemic. The contagious disease has infected over 10 million people worldwide, killing more than 500,000.

While the three-Test series beginning July 8 between England and the West Indies will mark the resumption of international cricket following the coronavirus-enforced break, club cricket remains to be on hold.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson had last Tuesday called the cricket ball ‘a natural vector of disease’ and his decision to uphold the ban on recreational cricket was slammed by former cricketers, including former England captain Michael Vaughan.

Botham has little doubt that the sport will resume shortly believing concept of social distance can be implemented in cricket without much fuss.

“I think cricket will be back very shortly. Cricket can be played. There’s no real physical contact there, you can keep your social distancing quite easily,” said the 64-year-old.

Botham, who is the chairman at Durham, said deliberations are on and a decision will come soon.

“I believe there is a couple of meetings coming up where the decisions will be made. From my point of view, speaking to the boys at Durham, they are back in training, they are very, very keen to get out there and play, as any young sportsman,” he said.

“There is talk about whether it is white ball or red ball cricket – it should be both, all aspects of the game should come back.

“There’s a lot of guys out there, we have guys at Durham, who are in the last year of their contract, young players, and if they don’t get a chance to show what they’ve got out there in the middle, some of these contracts won’t be renewed.”

(with PTI inputs)

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