India news February 6, 2014

Haryana wicketkeeper Sandeep Singh dies in accident

ESPNcricinfo staff

Haryana wicketkeeper-batsman Sandeep Singh, 25, has died following an accident in Mundal, his hometown.

According to Haryana Cricket Association president Anirudh Chaudhary, a tractor ran over Sandeep. "He was trying to help youngsters prepare a pitch for a football tournament in his village. As they were trying to level the field, the tractor somehow slipped and ran over Sandeep," Chaudhary said.

Chaudhary, also the BCCI treasurer, said he was devastated by Sandeep's death: "It's a very personal loss for me and I am not in a position to speak about it, at least for now."

Although the exact details of his death are not known yet, Sandeep's team-mates remain shocked. Jayant Yadav, the Haryana allrounder, said he cannot believe it still and is trying to "join the dots".

For Yadav, the one striking characteristic about Sandeep, who was his senior, was how considerate he was. "At the start of the season there was this one instance where myself and my Sachin bhaiya [Sachin Rana] were bowling on our own in a side net. There was no batsman or a wicketkeeper and we were just bowling at the stumps. So we would have to walk up and fetch the ball ourselves and walked back 24 yards to deliver again. Suddenly Sandy bhaiya [Sandeep] walked up without any alert or request from our end and just went up and stood up behind the wickets. That became a routine throughout the season. At times he would quit his own drills and help us out," Yadav said.

According to Yadav, Sandeep had the knack of keeping a relaxed and "light atmosphere in the dressing room" regardless of the situation on the field.

Sandeep made his first-class debut as an opening batsman against Andhra during the 2005-06 season, when he was just 17. When regular Haryana wicketkeeper Mahesh Rawat moved to Railways, Sandeep donned the big gloves, primarily in the limited-overs formats. Sandeep played 15 first-class matches, 12 List A games and 16 Twenty20s, of which four were for Services in the 2009-10 season. His last appearance came at the start of the 2012-13 season, for Haryana against Baroda in Lahli. While he didn't feature in the Ranji Trophy this season, Sandeep remained on the fringes of selection for the Haryana side.