He played nine first-class matches between 1997 and 2007, taking 34 wickets
Murtaza Lodhgar, the former Bengal left-arm spinner and Mizoram’s Under-19 coach, died of cardiac arrest on Friday night in Visakhapatnam, Cricket Association Bengal (CAB) president Avishek Dalmiya has confirmed.
Lodhgar, 45, was in the port city with the Mizoram colts, who were set to play the league phase of the Vinoo Mankad Trophy as BCCI’s domestic season is set to commence.
“The tragedy happened just after dinner,” Dalmiya told PTI. “Murtu bhai (as he was known in Bengal circles) along with the team’s physio went out for an after-dinner walk and suddenly felt enormous chest pain and fell on the road. “The physio and other team members immediately took him to the hospital where he was declared brought dead late on Friday.
“I still can’t believe that Murtu bhai is no more. It is a personal loss for me as he was one of the pillars of our family-run first division club Rajasthan SC. He was one of the most loved cricketers in our fraternity and also worked with our women’s team with distinction. It’s an irreparable loss.”
CAB is currently trying to make arrangements so that his family can bring his remains to the city for the burial.
Lodhgar was a powerhouse performer in club cricket but due to the presence of domestic giant Utpal Chatterjee, he played only nine Ranji Trophy games, taking 34 wickets.
One of the highlights of his short first-class career was a five-wicket haul against Karnataka at the JU (Salt Lake) ground in the 2004-05 season. He played a few more matches that season but never got consistent opportunities as he was in the wrong side of 30s and slightly portly for the top-level cricket.
Lodhgar was also a regular at the bustling club cricket scene in the United Kingdom.