The mood in the Mumbai Ranji Trophy camp was sombre after teammate Prashant Naik was rushed to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Hinduja Hospital upon the team's arrival in the city late on Sunday night.
According to coach Sulakshan Kulkarni, Naik was hit on the neck while fielding at forward short leg in their recent game against Railways.
'It was a terrible blow'
"It was a terrible blow. Batsman Nitin Bille smashed the ball very hard and it hit Prashant's neck. He was immediately taken to a hospital in Delhi, and later got admitted in Mumbai as soon as we arrived," Kulkarni told MiD DAY yesterday.
Mumbai romped to an emphatic 10-wicket win against Railways in the Ranji Trophy opener in New Delhi on Sunday to pocket six points including a bonus point. Naik scored only 10 runs in the first innings before being caught by wicketkeeper Mahesh Rawat off Sanjay Bangar. He did not get a chance to improve his score in Mumbai's second essay.
"I can imagine the agony he is going through. It was just the first match of the season and all your ambitions for the tournament look in doubt," Kulkarni said before adding, "It is a setback for us. One wouldn't like to disturb a winning combination, but this incident will force us to reshuffle. At the same time, I look at it as an opportunity for someone else to showcase his talent."
The coach wasn't sure how many weeks Naik would be out of action for, but a source close to Naik assured the middle-order batsman would recover in few weeks. "He is fine now. He was taken to ICU just as a precautionary measure. He should start training in next 10-15 days," the source said.