Priya Punia’s Father Cites Virat Kohli’s Example, Inspires Her to Play for India after Mother’s Demise
Days after losing her mother to COVID-19, Indian batter Priya Punia on Wednesday joined the team’s bio-bubble in Mumbai. Taking a leaf out of Indian skipper Virat Kohli’s life, Priya has decided to honour her professional commitments. An 18-year-old Kohli made headlines in 2006 when he walked to bat in the Ranji Trophy game for Delhi, hours after the demise of his father.
Priya’s mother Saroj on Monday passed away after battling with COVID-19. Priya is part of the Indian squad, which is slated to travel to the United Kingdom for a month-long tour.The right-handed batter on Wednesday also penned down a heartfelt post for her mother on social media.
“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 was quoted as saying by the TOI.
Surendra further said it is a difficult time for his family but he has asked everyone to be mentally strong as “life will always test you.” He also revealed that Priya promised him that she would not miss “professional commitment” and would represent India in their all-format tour of England.
“I inspired Priya. I told her that Virat Kohli had gone to play Ranji Trophy after his father’s death. This is a very difficult time for us, but we need to be mentally strong. There will be many occasions in life when you have to fight challenges and move forward. Priya understands this and she told me that, Papa I am ready to represent India”
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had asked the Indian men and women team to assemble in Mumbai on May 19 ahead of their departure to the United Kingdom. Both men and women teams will take three COVID-19 tests, before entering the Mumbai bio-bubble. And after that, they will spend 14 days in hard quarantine, before flying to England on June 2.
Team India will kick-start their England tour with a one-off Test on June 16 at Bristol. The solitary Test match would be followed by a three-match ODI and three-match T20I series.
Priya made her ODI debut for India in October 2019 against South Africa women in Vadodara. So far, she has played 7 one-dayers for India and scored 225 runs with the help of two fifties. She has also represented India in three T20Is.