Ian Botham Reveals He Had Coronavirus In December 2019, Thought it Was Flu

England cricket legend Ian Botham revealed that he had contracted the coronavirus towards the end of 2019 and thought it was 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. 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," Botham told Good Morning Britain.

"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.

"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."

International cricket is set to resume on July 8 when West Indies take on England at the Aegas Bowl in Southampton in the first of three Test matches.

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However, club cricket remains on hold due to concern of the virus spreading. For his part, Botham - who is also chairman of of Durham - believes the sport should restart soon.

"I think cricket will be back very shortly. 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.

"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.

"Cricket can be played. There’s no real physical contact there, you can keep your social distancing quite easily."