Ian Botham reveals contracting COVID-19 in January, says he mistook it for flu 

Botham played 102 Tests and 116 ODIs for England as the team's premier all-rounder.

Ian Botham | AFP Former England all-rounder, Sir Ian Botham, said he was infected by COVID-19 in January and mistook it for "a bad case of flu"

The outbreak of the contagious Coronavirus has led to a global health crisis, with over 10 million people infected, including more than 5,00,000 deaths. 

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Botham, who played 102 Tests and 116 ODIs for England, said he was also infected by the disease, but thankfully recovered. 

"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," he added.

Botham urged people to show a bit more patience in the hope that the things will improve with time. "I think people have been responding extremely well," he said. "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."

While international cricket will be back next month via the bio-secure Test series between England and West Indies, domestic county game in the UK has also been given a green signal to resume from August 1 while following all health safety protocols. 

All 18 first-class counties have been asked to discuss how they would like to have a curtailed men's domestic summer. Specifically, what are the formats that they would like to contest in the limited time the season is left with. 

"I believe there is a couple of meetings coming up where the decisions will be made," said Botham, who is chairman at Durham club. "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."

"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," he concluded. 

(Inputs from PTI)


By Kashish Chadha - 30 Jun, 2020

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