Coronavirus: Former Blackcap's desperate plea to return to family in the UK

Ian O'Brien.
Ian O'Brien. Photo credit: Image: Photosport

Former Blackcaps fast bowler Ian O'Brien has launched a fundraising page to reunite him with his family in England.

His wife and two daughters are in England, where they live, while O'Brien is in New Zealand where he was visiting his parents when the COVID-19 pandemic took over. 

He has booked three flights back to the UK, all of which were extremely expensive - but they have all been cancelled by the airlines, and the delay in refund is eating into his financial resources. 

O'Brien had hoped to raise the funds by picking fruit or being a delivery driver, and has turned to the fundraising page as a possible answer.

With limited flights back to England he is aiming for one leaving early April costing more than $4000.

His wife's health is the main concern for him to hurry back; she suffers from a lung condition that puts her in the vulnerable category for the virus. 

"This virus could kill her," he wrote on his PayPal page. "I need to get back ASAP to help her out and keep her safe."

He understands he will have to isolate when he arrives, but is prepared to stay in a campervan outside the house, which would mean he would be able to go out for groceries for his wife to avoid any exposure.

In return for a donation, he is offering tips to anyone wanting them for the game he represented his country in: cricket.

"If anyone would love a 20 min Skype/vid call," he wrote, "one on one, talk about all things cricket, politics, sausages, mental health, Sachin, etc... If you'd like that & can spare a couple of $£, message me and we can work out a time.

"Please, only if you can, and allow me to give you something in return."