Tragedy struck Indian cricket on Monday when a 20-year-old player died as a result of a freakish on-field collision with a team-mate during a club match in the eastern city of Kolkata.
Four months after Australia cricketer Phillip Hughes died after being hit by a bouncer, Ankit Keshri, a former captain for his state’s under-19 team, battled for three days before passing away at a Kolkata hospital.
‘It’s so unfortunate. He was such a promising cricketer and for him to pass away in such a manner is difficult to swallow,’ Subir Ganguly, the joint secretary of the state’s cricket association, told Reuters.
Keshri was in hospital for the past three days and was showing signs of recovery till Sunday evening when he was given oral food. However, in the early hours of this morning, Keshri suffered a massive cardiac arrest and was put on ventilator before he was declared dead.
The 20-year-old, a talented right-hander, had captained the Bengal U-19 team in Cooch Behar Trophy and was in the 30-member India U-19 probables list for the 2014 Colts World Cup in the United Arab Emirates. He was also playing for Bengal A (U-23 side) in CK Nayudu national Championship. Keshri was not a part of the playing XI and was the 12th man of the side in the fateful match. He came to replace Railways Ranji all-rounder Arnab Nandi, who had taken a break.
The incident happened at the Salt Lake ground during a one day match between local giants East Bengal and Bhowanipore club. ‘Fielding at sweeper cover, Keshri rushed to take the high catch as left-arm pacer Sourav Mondal too ran on his follow through. It was as freak an accident as possible,’ Bengal A coach Jaideep Mukherjee, who was present at the ground, told the Times of India.
After colliding with Mondal, blood spurted out of his mouth. Former Bengal spinner Shivsagar Singh and batsman Anustup Majumdar rushed to attend him. He briefly lost consciousness but was resuscitated by a team mate, following which, he was rushed to hospital. According to doctors, Keshri’s condition was stable but he suffered a cardiac arrest around midnight on Sunday and died early on Monday morning, officials of the state association said. In November, Hughes passed away at the age of 25, two days after he was struck in the neck by a bouncer with the incident sparking a massive outpouring of grief across the world.
Saddened by the demise of Ankit Keshri. A promising career aborted by an unfortunate incident on field. — sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) April 20, 2015
Sad to learn of the passing of Ankit Keshri. Unfortunate injury on cricket field. Thoughts and prayers to family and friends
— Jacques Kallis (@jacqueskallis75) April 20, 2015
Our heart goes out to Ankit Keshri's family. RIP Ankit. #KKR offers their deepest condolences.
— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) April 20, 2015
Did not know Ankit Keshri, but sad to hear the news!! Thinking & praying for his family+teammates. Another young player gone too soon. #RIP
— johan botha (@johan_botha) April 20, 2015