Devon Malcolm: Ex-England bowler says death of father with coronavirus 'surreal'

England fast bowler Devon Malcolm acknowledges the crowd after taking 9-57 against South Africa at The Oval in 1994
Devon Malcolm took 128 wickets in 40 Tests for England between 1989 and 1997

Former England fast bowler Devon Malcolm says it is "really difficult" to come to terms with the death of his father from coronavirus, after not being able to visit him in hospital.

Malcolm's father Albert, who lived in a care home, died aged 75 on 4 April.

He had been admitted to hospital with a bladder infection on 29 March and had only tested positive for coronavirus two days before his death.

"It's so sad, we lost him in a few days," Malcolm told BBC Radio 5 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.

"Later on when I got the call to say he had passed, it was a very, very weird feeling."

Malcolm said he last saw his father about a month before his death when he was in "good fettle" and had not visited since because he was adhering to social distancing measures designed to shield the most vulnerable from the virus.

"Until you get the death certificate and the reality sinks in, it feels like you're having a dream and you'll be out of it in a minute," added the 57-year-old.

"I'm trying to come to terms with it but it's going to be really difficult."

Malcolm said his father had been responding well to antibiotics to treat the bladder infection but was tested for coronavirus after starting to develop some breathing problems.

"It's surreal - you're told he's responding well so you think everything is all right, then next you hear you're told to prepare for the worst and then 20 minutes later, he's gone," he said.

"We have a date for the funeral but the process is so different now to going through a bereavement in the past," added Malcolm, whose mother died when he was five.

"There are only five people plus the vicar allowed at the graveside.

"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."

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