Arun Lal in recovery after battling cancer
Arun Lal, the former India opener, is in recovery after being diagnosed with jaw cancer and is hopeful of a return to commentating in "two months"
Arun Lal, the 60-year old former India opener, is in recovery after battling jaw cancer and is hopeful of a return to the commentary box in "two months."
Lal's cancer, which he described as "rare and dangerous," was identified in January and he underwent intensive treatment, including a 14-hour surgery and replacement of his jaw.
"The symptoms were detected in time before I went through a rigorous treatment process," he told the Hindu. "Thank God, I have been able to hold my place."
Lal was known for his fortitude during a seven-year international career as well. He made six Test fifties for India - one on debut against Sri Lanka in 1982 and two against Pakistan in the same match at Eden Gardens in 1987 - and played his final matches for India on the tour of West Indies in 1988-89.
Lal struck an unbeaten half-century in the 1989-90 Ranji Trophy final as Bengal ended a 51-year wait for the title. He played first-class cricket until 1995 and was an active presence in club cricket for a further six years. Lal announced his retirement from competitive cricket at the age of 45.
Fifteen years later, having persevered through great personal trauma, he feels he is starting anew: "Obviously it is like a new life. It was tough, but I am indebted to the fantastic job by the doctors."
Lal received "calls from close friends" to help with his recovery. Among them was Yuvraj Singh, who had fought against cancer in 2011 and has since returned to playing international cricket.
"I know what it feels like because I have been through this," Yuvraj said. "It's nice if you can share someone's pain and help him overcome it. I always try to understand the mindset of the patient because it mentally defeats you."