Dada to the Rescue: Ganguly, Cricket Fraternity Rally to Save Ex-Teammate’s Life

"Martin and I have been teammates, and I remember him as a quiet, introvert-type of person. While praying for Martin’s speedy recovery, I’d like his family to know that they don’t stand alone.”

Many eminent players and officials from the cricket fraternity have come together to help Jacob Martin, a cricketer and former teammate of Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar.

On December 28 2018, 46-year-old Martin met with an accident while riding his two-wheeler. His lungs and liver were severely injured in the impact, and he is currently on life-support at a Vadodara hospital.

Martin’s wife, Khyati had written a letter to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) seeking financial help.

“Since yesterday they have stopped providing medicine to Mr Martin though he is [on] a ventilator.

I earnestly request you to send me help at the earliest so that I can save his life. Due to an emergency, may I request you to kindly deposit in the bank account of Sterling Hospital.”

Martin had represented India in 10 one day international matches between the years 1999 and 2001. He debuted under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly in September 1999, playing five games under his leadership and five under the captaincy of Sachin Tendulkar. In these ODIs, he scored a total of 158 runs, at an average of 22.57.

During this period, he also played for Baroda (Vadodara) and leading them to their first Ranji win in the 2000-2001 season. Martin has featured in 138 First-class matches, 101 List- A games and two Twenty 20 games. With an average of 46.65 runs, he has 23 hundreds and 47 half-centuries in his record.

While the BCCI has sanctioned Rs 5 lakh from their Benevolent Fund, the Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) has offered Rs 3 lakh for his treatment.

Former Indian skipper Ganguly has also stepped forward with financial and moral support.

Source: Sourav Ganguly Official/ Facebook.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Ganguly said, “Martin and I have been teammates, and I remember him as a quiet, introvert-type of person. While praying for Martin’s speedy recovery, I’d like his family to know that they don’t stand alone.”

Sanjay Patel, former secretary of the BCCI and the BCA was one of the first people to rush to Martin’s aid. Speaking to the publication, he said, “Once I came to know about the accident, I tried to help Jacob’s family in every possible way. I have spoken to a few well-wishers, including Samarjitsinh Gaekwad (a former BCA president who belongs to the former ruling family of Vadodara) who donated Rs 1 lakh and accumulated around Rs 5 lakh for his treatment.”

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Apart from Ganguly and Patel, Ravi Shastri, the current head coach of the men’s Indian cricket team has also stated that he will provide any assistance required. Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel and Yusuf and Irfan Pathan have also stepped in to help Martin, while Krunal Pandya has written a blank cheque to Patel saying, “Sir, please fill up whatever is needed, but nothing less than Rs 1 lakh.”

In 2011, Martin was arrested in connection with a human trafficking case for taking non-cricketers to the UK under the pretext of playing club cricket.

The Delhi High Court had rejected his anticipatory bail but later permitted it, following which, Martin had started to coach the Vadodara Ranji Cricket Team. According to a 2016 report by the Times Now, “Martin is neither pronounced guilty nor innocent by the court, but he is still under scrutiny as an accused.”

(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)

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