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Young cricketer dies after being struck in chest by ball in British League

LONDON: A 24-year-old Tamil cricketer has died after being hit by a cricket ball in the chest. The Manipay Parish Sports Club announced on Wednesday that the British Tamil cricketer Bavalan Pathmanathan was batting at Long Ditton in Surrey when he was struck by the ball.

He collapsed immediately afterwards on the pitch. Bavalan who was of Sri Lankan origin was playing in division three of the British Tamil League. Medics who reached the ground on an air ambulance tried hard to resuscitate him. They however failed to save him.

Doctors later declared that he died due to heart failure. Bavalan’s teammates said when the non-striker asked him if he was okay from the other end of the pitch, Bavalan gave a thumbs-up and nodded to indicate he was alright. A second later he held his chest, took a few steps and collapsed.

The Manipay SC announced “Our cricketer Bavalan Pathmanathan is no longer with us. He was hit by the ball on his chest while batting. Our club is totally shocked by his death at this young age.”

Bavalan was a student of Hartley College, Jaffna, Sri Lanka. A similar incident had taken the life of Australian cricketer Philip Hughes in November when he was struck by a ball during a domestic match in Sydney. In a statement, the England and Wales Cricket board said, "We are deeply saddened to learn about this tragedy. We send our condolences to Bavalan's family, friends and team-mates during this upsetting time."

Surrey chief executive Richard Gould added "Everyone at the club has been deeply saddened to learn of Bavalan’s death and would like to extend their sympathies to his family, friends and everyone who knew him from within the community of cricket."