Israeli cricket team’s ex-captain dies after being hit by ball

Jerusalem: Israeli cricket team’s former captain and an international umpire died after being hit by a ball in the chest during a local match in coastal city of Ashdod, days after tragic death of a promising Australian player in similar circumstances.

According to spectators, 55-year-old Hillel Oscar collapsed after being struck in his upper body by the ball.

He was evacuated to Barzilai Medical Center in Asheklon where he succumbed to his injuries yesterday.

Australian batsman Philip Hughes died last week after being hit by a ball in the neck during a provincial match.

According to one of the Ashdod players, who was quoted by Ynet news portal, a fast delivery from the bowler came off the bat of the batsman, hit the wicket and then struck the umpire in the chest.

The umpire, who was standing a few meters behind the wicket, fell and apparently suffered a heart attack.

Police said that they were investigating the incident.

“The cricket family bows its head over the passing of Hillel Oscar. This is a tragedy for his family and for cricket in Israel,” Israeli Cricket Association CEO Naor Gudkar was quoted as saying by the Jerusalem Post.

Cricket is not a very popular sport in Israel, though there is an amateur league comprising players from India and countries like South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.