Sanjay Dobal Dead, Former Delhi Cricket Star Dies Of COVID-19

DELHI, INDIA - OCTOBER 16: Local children play cricket in India Gate Park on October 16, 2011 in Delhi, India.
Gareth Copley / Getty Images

Sanjay Dobal has died due to complications from COVID-19 at the age of 53.

The former all-rounder cricket star from Delhi, who had close relationships with many top cricket stars from his time on the local circuit, had been hospitalized for close to a week after showing symptoms. His death has brought an outpouring of support and remembrance from the cricket community


Dobal Had Been In Treatment For COVID-19

A doctor in India tests for coronavirus.
  Yawar Nazir / Getty Images

As the Hindustan Times reported, Dobal had seen his condition deteriorating since first being hospitalized after a positive test for the coronavirus. A source told the news outlet that the treatments failed to turn the tide for Dobal.

“Dobal showed symptoms and was first admitted to a medical facility in Bahadurgarh, a week back. He had tested positive for Covid-19. However, his condition deteriorated and was shifted to a Dwarka hospital with better facilities. He was given plasma but treatment didn’t work,” said an official with the Delhi & District Cricket Association.

Dobal’s death came amid a surge in coronavirus cases across Delhi, which has strained hospital resources. As CNN reported, Delhi this week surpassed Mumbai as the worst-hit city in India, with more than 70,000 reported cases and 2,300 deaths. Local officials warned this week that three hospitals had no available beds, and others were not accepting calls from patients to inquire about capacity.

It was not immediately clear whether the situation contributed to Dobal’s death, or exactly why he was taken from a hospital just outside of Delhi to a city more than 800 miles away, though Dobal did have connections to the coastal city as he ran a cricket academy in Dwarka. As his condition worsened, some friends from the Delhi cricket circuit tried to organize help for Dobal. Fellow Delhi star Mithun Manhas said that as Dobal grew more sick, there was an effort to organize plasma for a transfusion, but it was not successful.


Dobal Remembered As Standout Cricket Player

NEW DELHI, INDIA - OCTOBER 29: General view during day one of the Third Test match between India and Australia at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium on October 29,2008 in New Delhi,India.
  Michael Steele / Getty Images

In the wake of Dobal’s death, many from the cricket world have shared condolences and remembered the influence he had both in the Delhi circuit and on a national level. As the Hindustan Times report noted, Dobal was an all-rounder for the prestigious Sonnet Cricket Club, the head of a well-known cricket family. His eldest son, Siddhant, is a top player on the Delhi Under-23 side.

His former coach, Tarak Sinha, said it was clear early that Dobal had a special talent.

“He was my trusted performer. I remember he came to me as a teenager and showed immense talent. A hard-hitting middle-order batsman and an effective off-spinner, he would win matches on his own,” Sinha told Sportstar, via the Hindustan Times.

Other top figures from the Delhi cricket circuit have also shared stories about Dobal’s play and the influence he had on the local game. Manhas said that Dobal had a unique passion for the game and for promoting fitness, which he imparted on other young players he helped to train.

“He started off as a player and later became a good coach at Air India. He was known for his fitness. At his academy (at Dwarka) he insisted on his trainees concentrating on fitness before cricket skills,” Manhas said.