Kolkata, April 21: He was not supposed to be there on the field on the ill-fated day as Ankit Keshri was only the 12th man of East Bengal in its match against Bhowanipore on Friday, April 17.
However, fate had something else in store for him. 20-year-old Ankit replaced Arnab Nandi who took a break and came on the field just minutes before the fatal collision.
A Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) official, while narrating the incidents, said, "He was not in the playing eleven. Railways all-rounder Nandi had gone out for some reason, and Ankit went in as a replacement. Only a few overs were left in the match."
The official informed that the left-arm pacer Sourav Mandal was bowling then, and the batsman spooned a high catch towards the cover. Mandal ran on his follow through, while Keshri, who was patrolling the sweeper cover, also charged towards the ball.
They collided and Mondal's knee hit the back of Keshri's head near the ear, said the official and also added, "He fell unconscious, and blood started oozing out of his mouth."
Speaking about the collision, a Bengal discard, Shiv Sagar Singh, said, "I rushed in, and found he was not breathing. I tried to resuscitate him by giving mouth-to-mouth respiration. His teeth were firmly clinched. And I had to apply lot of force to open his mouth."
Singh, who is now a East Bengal player, also informed, "After a few seconds, he started breathing again. It is as if he had come to life form the dead."
"The doctors stationed in the ambulance close to the ground then ran in and after examination, sent him to the hospital close to the ground," said Singh.
The 20-year-old promising opener, who earlier led the Bengal Under-19 team, died of cardiac arrest at a private hospital on Monday, April 21.