India news April 20, 2015

Bengal player dies after on-field accident

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Ankit Keshri, a former captain of the Bengal Under-19 team, died on Monday morning in Kolkata three days after a freakish accident on the cricket field. Keshri had collided with his team-mate Sourabh Mondal on Friday while attempting a catch and had been rushed to the hospital after he stopped breathing briefly. Though his condition improved, he eventually died of a cardiac arrest. Keshri was 20.

The incident occurred during a Cricket Association of Bengal's Division 1 knockout match between East Bengal and Bhowanipore at the Jadavpur University Campus ground in Kolkata. Keshri, who was among the 30 India Under-19 probables for the World Cup in 2014, had actually come in as a substitute fielder.

In the penultimate over (44th) of the Bhowanipore innings, Mondal, who was bowling, rushed to take a catch that was hit towards cover. Keshri was fielding at deep cover and charged in too. Neither of the two noticed the other and collided. According to Shibsagar Singh, who was fielding at point, Mondal's knee crashed into Keshri's head and neck region.

As Mondal went down, wincing in pain, Keshri was lying flat and not breathing. Blood was trickling down from his mouth, according to Shibsagar, a former India Under-19 player who has played first-class cricket for Bengal. Keshri responded to Shibsagar's resuscitation efforts. Pranab Nandy, the East Bengal coach, said there was no negligence as the ground doctor was immediately on the case and Keshri was transported on a CAB ambulance to the nearby Nightingale Hospital within 15 minutes.

The BCCI has, however, asked the CAB to probe whether Keshri's death was due to negligence or lack of medical facilities provided to the player after the collision.

"It was a very unfortunate incident. CAB will look into matter if there was any negligence on anyone's part," BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said after the IPL governing council meeting in New Delhi on Monday. "We will discuss the issue at the Working Committee meeting on April 26 in Kolkata. We lost a youngster."

Ankit Keshri, 20, had come in as a substitute fielder © PTI

CAB treasurer Biswarup Dey said that doctors informed him on Sunday that although Keshri's condition was stable, he had fever. They were supposed to refer Keshri to consult specialist doctors on Monday but around midnight on Sunday he had a "massive" cardiac arrest. Keshri was put on the ventilator but succumbed early Monday morning.

"It is extremely upsetting to see the demise of a promising opening batsman," Deep Dasgupta, the former Bengal captain, said. " He used to be quiet, an introvert, but he was sharp and intelligent as well. He would hardly speak. I remember congratulating him on his selection for the India Under-19 camp and the shy look on his face saying 'thank you'."

Former Bengal cricketer Raju Mukherjee said,"An opening batsman with a solid defensive technique, he was included in the U-23 squad this year," before adding that he was "very frail"." It was, however, an accident," Mukherjee said. "He was about to be relieved from the hospital as his condition had improved."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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