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When death came calling on the cricket field

Last updated on: April 20, 2015 21:12 IST

A Langwarrin club cricket bat rests on stumps, in respect for Phillip Hughes. Photograph: Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Tragedy struck Indian cricket on Monday when a 20-year-old player died as a result of a freakish on-field collision with a team mate during a club match in Kolkata.

Four months after Australia cricketer Phillip Hughes died after being hit by a bouncer, Ankit Keshri, a former captain of Bengal’s Under-19 team, battled for three days before passing away at a Kolkata hospital.

- Tendulkar, Shah Rukh condole demise of young Bengal cricketer

Keshri, a right-handed batsman and leg-spinner, came on as a substitute fielder for his club and collided with a team mate as both players went for a high catch. He briefly lost consciousness but was resuscitated by a team mate, following which, he was rushed to hospital.

According to doctors, Keshri's condition was stable but he suffered a cardiac arrest around midnight on Sunday and died early on Monday morning.

- Post your condolences for Ankit Keshri

Following the latest tragedy on the cricket field here other instances when cricketers died while playing a match.

Phil Hughes (Australia) - 2014

Hughes, a 25-year-old Australia international, was struck on the head by a short-pitched delivery from New South Wales paceman Sean Abbott at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

It was a devastating blow that experts compared to the trauma suffered by car crash victims. After being treated at the stadium, Hughes, who played 26 Tests and 25 One-Day Internationals, was rushed to hospital to have emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain.

The severity of the hit could have caused internal bleeding and the 25-year-old Hughes eventually lost his battle for life after three days.

Darryn Randall (South Africa) – 2013

Randall was competing in a South African domestic match when he was hit on the side of the head while attempting a pull shot. The wicketkeeper-batsman collapsed and was immediately rushed to hospital, but could not be revived upon arrival. 

Zulfiqar Bhatti (Pakistan) – 2013

The promising Pakistan player was hit on the chest by a rising ball while batting during a domestic game and collapsed to the ground. He was rushed to hospital, but pronounced dead on arrival. 

File Photo of Bengal's under-19 cricketer Ankit Keshri, who died in Kolkata on Monday. Photograph: PTI

Richard Beaumont (England) – 2012 

Just moments after Beaumont had annihilated his opposition with his fast bowling, taking a five-wicket haul, he collapsed, suffering a suspected heart attack on the pitch. 

The match was abandoned and the fast bowler was airlifted to Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth hospital, but was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival.

Alcwyn Jenkins (England) – 2009

Jenkins was umpiring a league match in Swansea when he was struck on the head by the ball after a fielder had thrown it in his direction accidentally. Jenkins was airlifted to hospital but did not recover from his injuries.  

Wasim Raja (Pakistan) – 2006 

An elegant left-hander and a useful bowler, Wasim Raja died with his boots on, playing in a 50-over competition in Surrey. He had just bowled two-three overs and began complaining of uneasiness. Soon he collapsed on the field, succumbing to a massive heart attack.

Wasim played 57 Tests and 54 ODIs for Pakistan. He also coached Pakistan for a brief while after the 1999 World Cup and served as an ICC Elite Panel Match Referee for two years from 2002.

Raman Lamba (India) – 1998

The former India international was hit on the head while fielding during a club match in Dhaka. Standing at short-leg without wearing a helmet, the opener sustained serious brain injuries and went into a coma three days after the incident before being pronounced dead. As well as India, Lamba represented Ireland in unofficial ODI matches.

Ian Folley (England) – 1993

Folley had been tipped for an England call-up before a left-arm injury saw him retire from the game. He would return in 1991, but was hit below the eye in a freak accident while batting in a domestic match for Derbyshire against Workington. While under an anaesthetic in hospital, he suffered a heart attack and was pronounced dead.

Wilf Slack (England) – 1989

The Middlesex and England left-handed opener collapsed and died at the age of 34 while batting in Banjul, the capital of The Gambia, in January 1989. He had suffered four blackouts either on the field or at nets in the two previous years, but exhaustive tests had failed to identify what was wrong.

Abdul Aziz (Pakistan) – 1959

The 17-year-old Abdul Aziz died during the final of the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in 1958-59, between Karachi and Services. Aziz was facing an off-spinner when the ball rose sharply and hit him in the chest. He collapsed and was declared dead on arrival at the hospital. The score book entry against his name read: 1st innings retired hurt 0; 2nd innings absent dead 0.

Andy Ducat (England) – 1942

Ducat made a single appearance for England during his career, but the batsman suffered a heart attack while batting during a club game at Lord’s in July 1942. He collapsed and died.

George Summers (England) – 1870

Summers was struck on the head while batting for Nottinghamshire against the MCC at Lord’s. He initially appeared to recover from the injury and didn’t go to hospital, instead returning home to Nottingham by train, but died from the effects of his injury four days later. He was 25. The bowler, John Platts, was so rattled that he never bowled quick again.

Prince of Wales - 1751

The Prince of Wales (son of George II) was hit hard by a ball and the blow caused an internal abscess, which burst a few months later.

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