Former Bengal spinner and Mizoram U-19 coach Murtaza Lodhgar passes away at just 45

Former Bengal spinner and Mizoram U-19 head coach Murtaza Lodhgar has passed away, Cricket Association Bengal president Avishek Dalmiya confirmed.

The 45-year-old was the coach of Mizoram colts who were set to appear in the league phase of the Vinoo Mankad Trophy (U-19 National One Dayers). “It is a shocker of news. Murtaza was a perfect example of a gentleman cricketer. A very well behaved and disciplined individual he was doing very well as a coach. CAB is coordinating with the Cricket Association of Mizoram to get his mortal remains flown to Kolkata,” CAB President Dalmiya said in an official statement.

“The Association flag will remain half-mast tomorrow in his honour and a minute’s silence will be observed before both the games and players will wear a black tape to mourn his death and remember his undefeated spirit,” he added.

CAB Secretary Snehashis Ganguly said: “It is sad and shocking. Today I lost a brother. It is hard to believe that our Luttu is no more. He was just 45. I was thinking the other day about how to bring him back to Bengal cricket. Life is uncertain. This is no age to lose a cricketer and gentleman like him. My heartfelt condolences to his family.”

Murtaza had played nine Ranji Trophy games in which he had scalped 34 wickets. He had also taken a five-wicket haul against Karnataka at the Salt Lake ground in the 2004-05 season.