Ex-England quick Malcolm laments father's death from coronavirus

Devon Malcolm's father Albert was admitted to hospital with a bladder infection on March 29 but only tested positive for COVID-19 two days before his death.

Devon Malcolm took 128 wickets in 40 Tests with England. (File photo)   -  V. V. Krishnan

Former England fast bowler Devon Malcolm said Tuesday it was “really difficult” to come to terms with the death of his father from the coronavirus after being unable to visit him in hospital.

Malcolm's father Albert, who lived in a care home, died aged 75 on April 4. He was admitted to hospital with a bladder infection on March 29 but only tested positive for COVID-19 two days before his death.

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“It's so sad, we lost him in a few days,” Malcolm told BBC Radio Five Live. “It's so difficult when a loved one is admitted to hospital and you are told you can't visit, you can't be there for them.”

Malcolm said his father was in good health the last time he saw him a month before his death.

But he had been unable to visit him subsequently because of social distancing measures designed to combat the spread of the virus and protect the most vulnerable.

“I'm trying to come to terms with it but it's going to be really difficult,” added the 57-year-old whose mother died when he was just five.

Jamaica-born Malcolm, who followed his father to England before making his name at Midlands county Derbyshire, said grieving at this time would be particularly awkward.

“We have a date for the funeral but the process is so different now to going through a bereavement in the past. There are only five people plus the vicar allowed at the graveside.

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“We're hoping in the future when we get back to some normality, we can possibly do a proper service, celebrating his life with all his grandkids and his friends.”

An express but sometimes erratic bowler, Malcolm took 128 wickets in 40 Tests with a stunning best of nine for 57 against South Africa at The Oval in 1994.

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