You are here: Home » Sports » India Australia Series » News
Business Standard

Distance from family in pandemic leaves debutants emotionally torn

The Covid-19 pandemic has left young cricketers playing their debut series emotionally affected as they are often missing their relatives and family in times of joy and sorrow.

India vs Australia | India cricket team | Australia cricket team

IANS  |  Sydney 

Distance from family in pandemic leaves debutants emotionally torn

The Covid-19 pandemic has left young cricketers playing their debut series emotionally affected as they are often missing their relatives and family in times of joy and sorrow.

Mohammed Siraj, who is playing his debut series, broke down on Thursday while the national anthem was being played just before the third Test against Australia as memories of his father, who died a couple of months ago, came flooded back to him. He had not seen his dad for close to three months before he died and hasn't seen his family for over one-and-a-half months since his death.

Check IND vs AUS 3rd Test Day 3 Live score and match updates here

Hours after Siraj broke down, Australia opening batsman Will Pucovski struggled to control his emotions in the media interaction when he said that he is missing mum, dad and girlfriend who couldn't come to Sydney to watch him make his debut due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

Pucovski belongs to Malvern, which is in the state of Victoria, about 900 km from Sydney in New South Wales.

Sydney has recently witnessed a surge in Covid-19 cases and the cricket teams are in strict quarantine. According to the Australian team tradition, the family and partner of the debutant are present alongside the player when he is presented with the baggy green cap prior to the debut at home.

Check India-Australia series latest news updates here

"Obviously, I would have loved Mum, dad and girlfriend to be up here and my mates. They couldn't make it due to Covid-19 restrictions, especially dad, who has been a massive support," said Pucovski during the media interaction.

The 22-year-old Pucovski was presented the cap by Australia's assistant coach Andrew McDonald, who has also seen him grow as a player for Victoria where the former Aussie international was a coach.

"He's been my first coach in Victoria, we've gone through a lot together. He is someone with whom I have a lot to share. He is someone with whom I have a close connection," said Pucovski of McDonald.

Check IND vs AUS Tests full schedule match timing and free streaming details

Siraj, on the other hand, has not seen his family for over four months now as he was initially in the UAE for the Indian Premier League and then flew straight down to Australia for the ongoing international series.

In the interim, he lost his father - on November 20 - about a week after the Indian team landed in Australia and were in quarantine ahead of the limited overs series.

The pace bowler, who was part of the squad for the Tests that were to begin only on December 17, was given the option of returning home to attend the burial of his father but decided to stay back as the entire process of going back and returning would have involved quarantine periods.

Check ICC Test championship latest news and points table here

"During the national anthem, I just remembered my father. That is why I felt a bit emotional. Dad always wanted to see me play Test cricket. If he would have been alive, he would have seen me," Siraj told the media after the end of first day's play.

The two aren't the only ones emotionally affected by the quarantine.

Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who plays his 100th Test at the Gabba in Brisbane later this month, told the media that he will be missing his brother who is in a hotspot area and can't come up to Brisbane to witness him reaching the landmark.

India pace bowler T Natarajan too couldn't hop over to India from the UAE enroute Australia to see his daughter, who was born during the last phase of the IPL. He too is yet to see his family and daughter.



Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Fri, January 08 2021. 03:20 IST