India news March 4, 2012

Maharashtra first-class cricketer killed in road accident

ESPNcricinfo staff

Maharashtra medium-pacer Kishor Bhikane was killed in a road accident in Latur, at the age of 24. Bhikane was riding a two-wheeler, according to PTI, on the Latur-Barshi road in Maharashtra. He and another cricketer, Abhilash Lokhande, who was riding pillon, were returning from a Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) invitational match in Sakhra Pati village when their vehicle was hit by a truck. Bhikane is reported to have died on the spot, while Lokhande sustained serious injuries.

Bhikane had been awarded the motorcycle he was riding as a prize for being the best bowler of the Maharashtra Premier League Twenty20 tournament last year.

Bhikane last played for Maharashtra in the group stages of the 2011-12 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, in October last year. He had taken two wickets in the four games he played. He made his first-class debut in December 2009 and played a total of three first-class matches, taking six wickets. He had 15 wickets in 17 List A and Twenty20 games, and helped Maharashtra win the 2009-10 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, taking three wickets in the final.

The Maharashtra team is in Delhi for the Vijay Hazare Trophy and their captain Rohit Motwani told the The Times of India that Bhikane had been part of a 20-member squad that had played in a few friendlies in Mumbai.

Maharashtra play Punjab in a pre-quarter final on Monday and Motwani said, "We will be playing for him." Riyaz Bagwan, MCA tournament committee member said that the state cricket president Ajay Shirke, who is currently out of country, has promised support for Bhikane's family.

Edited by Dustin Silgardo

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