Financial help, support pour in for ailing club cricketer Shaikh
Virender Sehwag posts video message to motivate Aslam to fight against illness; Mumbai stalwart Wasim Jaffer, MCA president Patil and many others raise funds for treatmentUpdated: May 22, 2020, 08:52 IST
The Mumbai cricket community has always been known to look after one another. The latest example of this is the financial help pouring in for ailing club cricketer Aslam Shaikh. Within a week of his condition deteriorating, the cricket fraternity has come together to raise funds for his treatment as well as garner support for the popular local cricketer.
Among the contributors are Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) president Vijay Patil, Mumbai stalwart Wasim Jaffer, current India Test vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, among others. Numerous tennis ball cricket clubs and players have also chipped in as Shaikh played a lot of tennis ball tournaments to make ends meet.
Former MCA joint secretary PV Shetty said that he will take care of all of the 47-year-old’s medical expenses. “Nobody told me about Aslam’s health condition. I was informed a couple of days ago and I will do my best,” said Shetty. Even MCA is in the process of sanctioning funds for him. MCA apex council member Nadim Memon too did a lot of leg work to garner support for Shaikh.
Also Read | When virus queered the cricket pitch
“A lot of people have come forward and contributed whatever they could to take care of his medical expenses and see him back on his feet,” said one of Shaikh’s well-wishers who is among those coordinating with his family.
Shaikh, suffering from a nerve-related illness, has been bedridden over the last few months.
Besides the generous contributions, a lot of international players have sent messages of support to help keep Shaikh’s morale high.
“One thing that is good to see is (that) so many people have come forward to help you in these difficult times. This is what a cricketer yearns to earn in his career. Don’t lose hope, keep fighting. You have earned a name for yourself in leather and tennis ball cricket, people respect you a lot,” said ex-India opener Jaffer in a message to Shaikh.
Jaffer’s former India opening partner, Virender Sehwag, recalled how he bounced back from difficult times without ever losing hope. “I will tell you one story about me about never giving up. I made by India debut in 1999 and after just one match, was dropped. I had to wait for two years to make a comeback. At that time I never lost hope, never gave up. If I had, I would have never played for India. After I made a comeback in December 2000, I played for six straight years but was once again dropped from the team in 2006-07 season.
“If I had given up or stopped working hard or kept thinking that I won’t get another chance, then I would have never played again for the country. I again came back to the Indian team, scored another triple century and multiple double centuries. Like that, in life, you never give up,” said Sehwag in his message.
Reacting to the messages, Shaikh said: “Cricket teaches you to fight, it teaches you to be disciplined. Thanks for the messages. I’m overwhelmed. I will fight.”
Former India batsman Vinod Kambli also tweeted his support for Shaikh, while West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo provided words of encouragement. “I want you to believe in fate, believe in yourself. Believe in god and everything is going to be fine. You are going to get over it soon. You are a champion so don’t give up,” said Bravo. India pacer S Sreesanth also asked Shaikh to keep fighting.