Mumbai: Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) President Sharad Pawar on Friday expressed his grief at the demise of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes, who met tragic end after succumbing to fatal head injury.
"In a very long time, there wasn't any history of any such injuries on the ground. It's a very sad thing for the cricketing fraternity as we have lost an upcoming and talented player and it has come as a shock to all cricket lovers like us," Pawar, a former BCCI and ICC President, said at the MCA Annual Awards function, here today.
The 25-year-old cricketer, who was in contention for a Test recall for the coming series against India, died at the St Vincent's Hospital yesterday, where he was battling for life after being hit on the head by a bouncer from Sean Abbott in a Sheffield Shield match at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday.
MCA vice-president Ravi Savant urged youngsters to focus on playing cricket and not dwell on that incident.
"Youngsters should remember it was a freak accident. Since yesterday, I have received a lot of calls from parents saying we should avoid such accidents. I said this can't be avoided and it is a freak accident and youngsters should continue to play cricket," Savant said saying that former great players from Mumbai had faced fierce bowlers without helmets.
Savant, the BCCI vice-president said cricket was getting affected due indiscipline such as spot-fixing and betting.
"In a time (when) cricket is going through sordid incidents like spot-fixing and betting, the matter is sub-judice in Supreme Court, so it is not proper for us to say anything on that but the cricket is suffering from indiscipline.
"We in Mumbai have decided that we will not tolerate any indiscipline in cricket. We will deal with it and that's a promise," he said.
Rohit Sharma, who scored a magnificent 264 against Sri Lanka at the Eden Gardens, was named for a special award from the Association although he was not present owing to his national duty in Australia.
Veteran Mumbai batsman Wasim Jaffer got the special award for highest runs in Ranji Trophy, while retired Mumbai players like former skipper Ajit Agarkar and Amol Muzumdar were also the recepients of special awards.
Indian batsman Ajinkya Rahane bagged the Justice Tendulkar trophy for the 'Best Senior Cricketer of the Year'.
Stumper Aditya Tare bagged the S V Rajadyaksha Trophy for scoring 589 runs in the Ranji Trophy last season, while left-arm spinner Vishal Dabholkar got the Shavak Paghdiwala Trophy for picking up 39 wickets in the season.
Tare also received a cash award of Rs 15,000 for scoring a quick-fire century (122 runs in 134 balls).
Young Mumbai cricketer Prithvi Shaw bagged the best junior award in the U-16 category, while Sarfaraz Khan received the best U-19 cricketer award.
The Mumbai U-14 team won a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh for winning the West Zone championship.
Pawar said the future of the Mumbai team is in safe hands after the team emerged victorious in the u-14 category.
Former captain and ex-chairman of selection committee, Dilip Vengsarkar got the Life Time Achievement Award.