April 22, 2015 1:49:54 am
Sourav Mondal is a 30-year-old left-arm medium pacer who was in the Bengal Ranji Trophy squad last season. He didn’t get a game but has always performed for his club, East Bengal.
Mondal’s life and cricket career have taken an unprecedented twist following his team-mate Ankit Keshri’s death. He now faces the challenge to rebuild everything. Mondal and Keshri had collided, while going for a skier, during East Bengal’s CAB senior knockout fixture against Bhawanipore last Friday. The latter succumbed to a serious head injury on Monday.
“Yes, it is a challenge for us to bring him (Mondal) back to cricket. We had started our League quarterfinal game Kalighat yesterday but when the umpires informed us about Ankit’s death, the match was called off. Sourav broke down on the field. He went to the hospital and had to face some uncomfortable questions. Someone asked him why he ran so fast to take the catch! Sourav was very upset. He was inconsolable. We’ve advised him to keep his mobile switched-off and not to speak to the media. He requires his own space to recover from the tragedy,” senior East Bengal left-arm spinner Shiv Sagar Singh told The Indian Express.
Singh was nearest to the accident spot on the field. He gave Keshri cardiopulmonary resuscitation when the young player fell unconscious after the collision. Singh now wants Mondal to hold up well.
“We would rally behind him. Bengal cricket stands by him. We must help him recover. Ultimately, it’s up to Sourav to cope with it. He would be haunted by the incident,” Singh observed.
East Bengal coach Pranab Nandy believes time would eventually heal the trauma. “We’ve to ensure Sourav returns to cricket. Why shouldn’t he? Time is a great healer,” Nandy said.
“At the moment, he’s completely broken. We must allow him time to recover. I heard some crass comments at the hospital yesterday and told him to go back home. May be after three to four days, I will ask him to come to the club. I, along with our captain (Suvojit Banerjee) and other senior players would give him proper counselling. Accidents do happen on cricket field. Ankit’s passing away was very sad and unfortunate,” Nandy said.
Sourav’s father Bhabasindhu said that his son was too traumatised to eat. “Sourav has stopped taking meals. He’s soon to be married and this is a huge blow to him. We are very worried.” The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) is also ready to offer all possible help. “We will speak to East Bengal officials and the coach about the help required. We will act accordingly,” CAB treasurer Biswarup Dey said.
CAB is also keen to help Keshri’s family. “We will decide in consultation with his family. Financial help or a job for his elder brother, something will be done,” Dey added.
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