Pradipta Mandal's parents lost him months before his 23rd birthday but that did not stop them from giving him a gift they are sure would have pleased him a lot.

Pradipta, 22, who relatives in Calcutta and former neighbours in Visakhapatnam described as "a sports fan" and "budding philanthropist", died in a freak motorbike accident last July. In memory of their dearest son, the Mandals held a volleyball tournament in Howrah on his birthday, January 13.

"Pradipta used to eat, sleep and drink sport. Be it cricket, football, tennis or motorsport, he would watch everything on TV. He never played volleyball but that is the sport we have chosen to support because it is woefully short of funding," said Pradipta's father Sumanta Mandal, a senior general manager with Orissa Minerals Development Co.

The two-day tournament featured eight top volleyball teams affiliated to the Howrah District Volleyball Association.

"Volleyball has long been neglected and more such efforts will give the players greater exposure and improve the standard of the sport in which Bengal lags behind Punjab, Kerala and Tamil Nadu and other states," said former national-level player Moni Mohan Pal, who was in the audience during a semi-final match at Howrah Saraswati Club, Panchanantala.

The one sport Pradipta himself had excelled in was table tennis and went on to become an inter-college champion at Andhra University. But his biggest wish was to visit the Eden Gardens once, something that will never be.

Cousins Sayan and Arnab said Pradipta was "an ardent fan" of Sourav Ganguly. They recalled how he was torn between supporting Pune Warriors India, the team Sourav represented, and his home side Kolkata Knight Riders last year.

"He loved Sourav so much that his friends in Vizag would call him 'Dada'. But he did give them a treat at home after KKR won the IPL last year," Sayan said.

There was another side to him that went beyond his own needs and aspirations. "He used to feel for the less fortunate and often visit orphanages. His friends in Vizag visited old-age and children's homes to mark his birthday this year," said a former colleague of Pradipta's father, P.A.R. Naidu, who came down to Calcutta from Visakhapatnam for the volleyball tourney.

Sumanta, 51, and wife Papiya, 47, left Visakhapatnam, where their son was born and had spent much of his life, after his death on June 5 last year.

"His life was just about to take off. He had job offers from Infosys and HCL after completing his BTech and MTech in computer science and IT from Andhra University College of Engineering," mother Papiya said.

"The day he died was a Thursday. He had asked me to keep Sunday afternoon free so that we could watch the Wimbledon final together. But that Sunday did not come," recalled father Sumanta, struggling to fight back the tears.

Sumanta has formed a trustee body and created a bank account to make the volleyball tourney an annual event.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Punjab pull off another big chase

Punjab pull off another big chase

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Maxwell, Miller, Pujara chase down Rajasthan's 192. More »

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

Have nothing to prove to anybody — Sehwag

The Nawab of Najafgarh says a good run in IPL could help his chances of a comeback on India's tour to England in June. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

Five things England must do to bounce back

Five things England must do to bounce back

England have appointed a new head coach in Peter Moores. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusiast.” More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

Moores gets second stint as coach

Moores gets second stint as coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »