Sandeep Patil urges BCCI to support ailing Anshuman Gaekwad amidst T20 World Cup celebrations

New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) Former India cricketer Sandeep Patil has commended the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for announcing a prize money of ₹125 crore for the victorious Indian cricket team led by Rohit Sharma after their triumphant 2024 T20 World Cup campaign. Patil, however, has called on the BCCI to extend similar financial support to former cricketer and coach Anshuman Gaekwad, who is battling blood cancer.
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Sandeep Patil urges BCCI to support ailing Anshuman Gaekwad amidst T20 World Cup celebrations

New Delhi, July 2 (IANS) Former India cricketer Sandeep Patil has commended the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for announcing a prize money of ₹125 crore for the victorious Indian cricket team led by Rohit Sharma after their triumphant 2024 T20 World Cup campaign. Patil, however, has called on the BCCI to extend similar financial support to former cricketer and coach Anshuman Gaekwad, who is battling blood cancer.

In a column for Mid-Day, Patil revealed that Gaekwad, 71, has been undergoing treatment for the past year at King's College Hospital in London. During a visit to the hospital, Gaekwad confided in Patil about his urgent need for funds to continue his treatment.

"Anshu told me that he needs funds for his treatment. Soon, Dilip Vengsarkar and I spoke to BCCI treasurer Ashish Shelar. Our calls were made to Ashish Shelar after seeing Anshu at King's College Hospital in London. Ashish Shelar instantly said he would look into our and other former cricketers' requests for funds," Patil wrote.

"I'm sure he will facilitate this and, at the risk of sounding macabre, save Anshu's life. I'm sure he will facilitate this and, at the risk of sounding macabre, save Anshu's life. Any cricketer from any country should be helped by his Board, but Anshu's case must be taken on priority and treated as paramount."

Gaekwad's cricketing legacy is notable. He played 40 Tests and 15 ODIs for India between 1975 and 1987, and later served as India's head coach in two separate stints. His first tenure, from 1997 to 1999, was marked by significant achievements, including Anil Kumble's historic 10-wicket haul in an innings against Pakistan, a Test series victory against Australia, and an ODI series draw in New Zealand. Gaekwad returned as head coach in 2000, steering India to the final of the ICC Knockout.

"He coached India in another era, but the current players have been inspired by the cricketers he coached during his successful stint," Patil noted. "I'm no stats man, but I think Sachin Tendulkar was most successful during Anshu's term. Not for a moment am I suggesting that all those runs came from Anshu's blade, but he was there when Sachin needed all the moral support to play his natural game and that was to blast away."

Beyond his coaching career, Gaekwad has also served as a national selector in the 1990s and is currently the president of the Indian Cricketers' Association. Patil emphasised that the BCCI's support is crucial not just for Gaekwad but for all former cricketers in need, underscoring the importance of prioritizing Gaekwad's case.

"Any cricketer from any country should be helped by his Board, but Anshu's case must be taken on priority and treated as paramount," Patil asserted.

--IANS

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