In the second T20I against England, Indian players are wearing a black armband as a mark of respect to Indian U-19 trainer Rajesh Sawant, who was found dead in his hotel room in Mumbai earlier today and Mohammad Shami’s father Tousif Ali. Sawant was even part of the Rest of India side that beat Gujarat in the Irani Cup last week.
Sawant was the U-19 team’s trainer and was supposed to report for training ahead of the U-19 side’s first ODI against England on January 30 but didn’t show up and was found dead in his hotel room in Mumbai. Shami’s father, Tousif Ali passed away after suffering a heart attack on Friday.
In case you didn’t know…
Before taking over as the trainer of the India U-19 and India A teams, he was part of the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore. Before that, he worked with the Afghanistan cricket team. He was also present during the Irani Cup where he worked with the Rest of India team.
The heart of the matter
In what came as a shock to many, Sawant was found dead in his room earlier today and hence the gesture by the Indian team during the second T20I to wear a black armband. Not only did he did work with several Indian stars such as Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, and Ashish Nehra when they were part of the India A side that took on England in the warm-up matches before the limited-overs leg of the series, but also several U-19 and A team stars.
As part of the U-19 and A side, he also had a great rapport with Rahul Dravid and players such as Rishabh Pant and Ishan Kishan. Speaking about what had transpired, BCCI joint secretary, Amitabh Choudhary told Sportstar, that he started looking for Sawant when he didn’t report for team activities in the morning. And as the search for him went on, he was found dead in his room.
Meanwhile, Shami’s father was first hospitalised on January 5 after suffering his first heart attack.
Extra Cover: India vs England 2nd T20I: Live Commentary
The Indian U-19 side takes on England in a 5 match ODI series beginning on January 30th at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai while the India team are currently playing England in the second T20I at Nagpur following which they will take on England in the third match at Bangalore on February 1.
While it was an unfortunate end to one of the best trainers India have ever had, it was a great gesture to see that the Indian team wore black armbands for the second T20I match against England as a mark of respect to the service that Sawant had provided and also to the father of one of the country’s best players right now.