Former Bengal cricketer Murtaza Lodhgar dies

Former Bengal player and current Mizoram Under-19 coach Murtaza Lodhgar died of a heart attack on Friday night.

REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE: Murtaza Lodhgar played nine first-class and five List A matches for Bengal.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Former Bengal player and current Mizoram Under-19 coach Murtaza Lodhgar died of a heart attack on Friday night, according to Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) sources. He was 45.

Murtaza was in Visakhapatnam for the Under-19 Vinoo Mankad Trophy.

CAB sources said Murtaza died of a heart attack around 10:15 p.m. and that the association was trying to get his body back to Kolkata.

"It is shocking news. Murtaza was a perfect example of a gentleman cricketer. A very well-behaved and disciplined individual he was doing very well as a coach. CAB is coordinating with Cricket Association of Mizoram to get his mortal remains flown to Kolkata. The Association flag will remain half-mast tomorrow in his honour and a minute's silence will be observed before both the games and players will wear a black tape to mourn his death and remember his undefeated spirit," said CAB president Avishek Dalmiya.

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Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs and current Bengal cricketer Manoj Tiwary is also in contact with CAB president over the matter.

"It is sad and shocking. Today I lost a brother. It is hard to believe that our Luttu is no more. He was just 45. I was thinking the other day about how to bring him back to Bengal cricket. Life is uncertain. This is no age to lose a cricketer and gentleman like him. My heartfelt condolences to his family," said CAB secretary Snehashis Ganguly.

Murtaza, a slow left-arm orthodox bowler, played nine first-class and five List A matches for Bengal, taking 34 and four wickets respectively.

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