KOLKATA, April 20 (PTI): In another tragic on-field incident after Phillip Hughes’ death last November, a promising Bengal batsman Ankit Keshri today passed away owing to an injury sustained during a Cricket Association of Bengal’s senior one-day knock-out match on April 17.
Keshri was in hospital for the past three days and was showing signs of recovery till yesterday 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.
In what can be considered a cruel twist of fate, 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 PTI.
After colliding with Mondal, blood spurted out of his mouth as he fell unconscious. Former Bengal spinner Shivsagar Singh and batsman Anustup Majumdar rushed to attend him. Shiv Sagar, in fact, tried the mouth to mouth resuscitation by giving him CPR (Cardiac Pulmonary Resuscitation) after which he started breathing again. He was then taken to the Nightingale nursing home. “There was no external injury but Keshri fainted as fellow mates Anustup Majumder and Shiv Sagar Singh resuscitated him. He gained some consciousness and was rushed to nearby AMRI. From there he was admitted to Nightingale Hospital,” Mukherjee further added. “I am not in a position to speak. I am feeling devastated and I don’t know what his parents must be going through. His body will be brought to East Bengal tent before being taken for last rites,” a distraught CAB joint secretary Subir Ganguly said.