There are few cricketers who had a such an impact of their aggressive batting, that even their name ring scare to the whole opposition team. A name which is though distant from the legends of the game like Virendra Sehwag and Vivian Richards in records, was well-known for his batting prowess. That name is of Raman Lamba, a player who would have been with us, if it not were for that dreadful day of 20th February 1998.
On February 20, 1998, Lamba was called to field at forward short-leg for Abahani Krira Chakra in a game against Mohammedan Sporting in a Dhaka Premier League fixture played at the Bangabandhu Stadium.
Khaled Mashud was the captain of Abahani Krira Chakra and had brought in a left-arm spinner. Three balls into the over, he decided to bring in Raman to forward short-leg. The captain asked Raman if he wanted to wear a helmet but Lamba brushed off reasoning that only three balls are remaining in the over and that it wouldn’t be a problem.
Batsman Mehrab Hossain pulled the next delivery hard and it hit right at the temples of Lamba at the short-leg, it was hit so hard that the ball bounced off Lamba and the catch was taken by wicketkeeper.
Lamba went to the dressing where he started feeling unwell, following which he was taken to the hospital. Surgeons operated on him but couldn’t save his life. On February 23 1998, Lamba’s life support was taken and the world lost a gem in Raman Lamba’s death.
Born in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh on 2nd January 1960, Raman had a prolific start to his career, a 50 in his first match followed by a century in his sixth, he even won the man of the series title against Australia, banking 278 runs at a whopping average of 55.6. Lamba couldn’t retain his spot after a string of low scores. He continued a decent run in the domestic cricket and played a huge part in Bangladesh getting status of playing Test cricket few months later.