Saba’s philanthropic act overwhelms his ailing coach


A 67-year old cricket coach from Bihar, who has been fighting a prolonged battle against cancer, has found a loyal disciple by his side when most of the cricketing prodigies he nurtured over the years have forgotten him.

National selector Syed Saba Karim, one of his famous students, has come to the rescue of the man who had paved the way for his career in cricket in his formative years.

Saba, who represents East Zone in the selection panel of the Board of Cricket for Control in India ( BCCI), is providing a roof to Adhikari Madan Mohan Prasad, whose dilapidated house gave way during the monsoon last year.

“Yes, I am building a one- room house for my coach where he can stay comfortably for the rest of his life,” Saba said. “ I have learnt so much from him. This is the least I can do for him.” Saba admitted that he owed his success to Adhikari. “ I cannot say enough about his contribution to cricket,” he said. “ Like all his students, I received valuable tips from him. He even shared his kit with us whenever we needed.” Saba sent a contractor to meet Adhikari on Tuesday to make an estimate of the house to be built for him. “ The work will start as soon as I get the estimates and should start in the next few days.” Saba, who represented Bihar and Bengal in the Ranji Trophy before being selected as the Team India wicketkeeper, said he would contribute the money required for the purpose.

“There will not be any problem if others do not come forward to help our coach. I do not want our coach to remain without a home,” he said.

Saba’s gesture has left Adhikari overwhelmed.

He said that Saba had come to know about his house when he went to Ranchi last month for the India- England one- day international match. “ Somebody told him about the condition of my house and he called me up immediately from the airport.” Adhikari said that Saba had joined his cricket club when he was a class V student.

“He was an exceptional wicketkeeper even in his childhood,” he recollected. “ It was on the basis of his cricketing abilities that he got admission into the prestigious St Xavier’s school in Patna.” Adhikari said that he had coached more than 2,000 young cricketers since 1968 but he had to stop it on his doctor’s advice after he was diagnosed with throat cancer seven years.

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