Ina noble gesture, Kolkata Knight Riders named deceased Bengal cricketer Ankit Keshri as their 16th man while his family was given a cheque of Rs 20 lakh at a ceremony ahead of their IPL T20 cricket match against Chennai Super Kings at Eden Gardens here today.
In a formal ceremony held in front of the club house, KKR captain Gautam Gambhir, CEO Venky Mysore, BCCI and CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya and CSK representative Ishwar Pandey paid floral tributes.
“We’re too happy to do so and it’s an opportunity for KKR in a small way to remember Ankit and the premature end he faced,” the CEO and MD of Kolkata Knight Riders Sports Private Ltd, Venky Mysore, said.
Later the deceased cricketer’s father Raj Keshri was handed over two cheques of Rs 10 lakh each by KKR and CAB.
The ceremony was originally planned in KKR’s last outing against Rajasthan Royal on April 26 but could not be held because of heavy thundershowers.
In a second on-field incident after Phillip Hughes’ death last November, the East Bengal cricketer passed away three days after sustaining a head injury during a CAB senior one-day knock-out match against Bhowanipore SC on April 17.
Ankit was in hospital for three days and was showing signs of recovery but died on April 20 early morning following a massive cardiac arrest.
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.