Redbridge clubs pay tribute to cricketer who died after being struck by ball
PUBLISHED: 15:33 13 July 2015 | UPDATED: 15:48 13 July 2015
Cricket clubs in the borough have paid tribute to a player who died after a ball struck his chest during a game.
Cavaliers Cricket Academy said it was “deeply saddened” by the incident following the funeral of Bavalan Pathmanathan, 24, yesterday.
The Manipay Parish Sports Club cricketer, who lived in Ilford after he arrived in the UK from Jaffna, Sri Lanka, about five years ago, was airlifted to hospital on Sunday, July 5, after collapsing on the pitch at Long Ditton Recreation Ground in Surbiton, Surrey.
A statement from Cavaliers Cricket Academy read: “We, the cricketing community, have been left shocked and deeply saddened by the absence now felt with Bavalan’s departure.
“Though it is unimaginably upsetting to have lost such a vibrant soul at the prime of his life, there is some comfort in knowing his life ended whilst doing what he loved most.
“We stand beside his family and friends during this difficult time and offer our most heartfelt thoughts and prayers.”
Redbridge’s Lucky Cricket Club coach Annanth Kumar said he wanted to raise awareness of safety and first aid among players following the death.
“It’s such sad news – it’s heartbreaking,” said Annanth.
“It was a disaster waiting to happen and it could’ve happened to anyone.
“This kind of tragedy should not happen again and there’s a collective responsibility to make sure it doesn’t.”
The freak incident comes after Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes died after he was struck in the neck by a ball in November last year.
British Tamils Cricket League (BTCL) – the league in which Bavalan, who lived in Morden, played – also paid tribute to the talent.
A statement read: “Bavalan, you will be profoundly missed and always remembered.”
The cricketer’s body has been flown to Sri Lanka, where his mum and siblings live.
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