India tour of England: It has been only a day that Indian cricketer Priya Punia lost her mother Saroj to COVID-19 and not anyone thought that she would be mentally prepared to join the team in Mumbai for a month-long England tour. Yet, the youngster has decided to join the team and enter the bio-bubble, taking a leaf out of Virat Kohli’s life. The India men’s team skipper lost his father while he was playing for Delhi in Ranji Trophy and he decided to continue playing after returning from the crematorium.
Priya Punia, who will be in the squad for India’s one-off Test and limited-overs series against England, lost her mother after oxygen supply disrupted in the SMS Hospital, where she was battling for her life in the ICU.
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India tour of England: “She was doing fine, but after oxygen supply disturbance her oxygen level dropped and had to be put on ventilator support. But we couldn’t save her,” Priya’s father Surendra told TOI.
While Priya Punia’s heart is broken, her mental strength came to the fore as she discussed it with her father and decided to be ready for her duty even though the mourning period is still on. Not many, including sportspersons are that mentally strong but many including Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, Mohammed Siraj and Chetan Sakariya have shown their determination and mental strength.
India tour of England: “This is a very tough time for us. But I told her to stay strong as life will always test you and you need to fight it out and not give up. Priya understands this and said that papa I am not thinking about missing out on my professional commitments. I am prepared to represent India,” Surendra said.
Priya Punia told TOI that she will not miss the England tour and will join the rest of the squad on Wednesday. Like the men’s team, India women’s cricket team will assemble in Mumbai on May 19 and will spend 10 days in bio-bubble before leaving on the same charter flight for the UK on June 2.
India tour of England: “I’ll be leaving Jaipur tomorrow and will join the team in Mumbai where we will undergo the mandatory quarantine. We will be leaving for the UK on June 2,” said Priya Punia, who has played 7 ODIs and 3 T20Is for India since making her debut in 2019. She also played two ODIs against South Africa in March.
In a tribute to her mother, Priya Punia took to Instagram and said, “Today I realized why you always told me to be strong. You knew that one day I would need the strength to bear the loss of yours. I miss you mom! No matter the distance I know you are always there with me. My guiding star, my mom. Love you always.”