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Murtaza Lodhgar: Tribute to coach with a vision

The former Bengal left-arm spinner died of cardiac arrest on September 17 last year at the age of 45
A minute’s silence being observed in memory of Murtaza Lodhgar at the Kalighat ground on Sunday.
A minute’s silence being observed in memory of Murtaza Lodhgar at the Kalighat ground on Sunday.
Santosh Ghosh

Arindam Bandyopadhyay   |   Calcutta   |   Published 14.03.22, 12:59 AM

Friends and former cricketers of St James’ School remembered Murtaza Lodhgar at a charity match on Sunday. The former Bengal left-arm spinner died of cardiac arrest on September 17 last year at the age of 45. His last stint as a coach was with the Mizoram U-19 women’s team.

His childhood teacher Mohammad Faizal Salim and cricket coach Izhar Khan took the initiative to organise the event at the Kalighat ground. The Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) supported the event and a few officials were present at the venue.

Since Lodhgar was associated with women’s cricket, the organisers have decided to distribute 12 kits to as many underprivileged women cricketers chosen by the CAB and the ceremony will take place at Eden Gardens on Monday.

The organisers have plans to make the charity match an annual event.

Sagar Daryani, who played an important part in organising the match, said: “Murtu bhai (Murtaza Lodhgar) was 11 years senior to me in school and was an inspiration.

“My maiden visit to the iconic Eden Gardens was because of him. I saw him playing for our school and win an inter-school title. That is how my love for the game grew. It is sad he is no more but he will be in our hearts.”

Lodhgar’s elder brother, Shabbir, was also present. “I still can’t believe that he is not with us. I think this is a great initiative.

“This will help the next generation to know about Murtaza Lodhgar. I also like to thank the CAB officials, especially president Avishek Dalmiya.

“He stood like a family member during our toughest times.” The day was made memorable with Lodhghar’s contributions towards cricket being highlighted.



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