A young South African cricketer has collapsed and died of suspected heart failure while training with his academy side in the Eastern Cape town of Alice.
Lukhanya Tsiki, 22, was taking part in fitness tests on Monday at Fort Hare Academy when he suddenly collapsed when his group took a break from their exercises.
Members of the academy staff endeavoured to revive him before he was transferred to the Alice Hospital where he passed away later the same day. The academy is run by former South Africa Test fast bowler Mfuneko Ngam.
“Normally at this time of the year, guys will do fitness. On Monday, we wanted to check where the guys were with fitness,” Ngam told ESPNcricinfo. “He was fine, he didn’t have any problems, he was one of those guys who could run the yo-yo [bleep test] up to 20. He ran 17 and after he was finished, he took his shirt off and sat with his mates and coughed and collapsed. We took him to the hospital but it was too late.”
Tsiki was a student at the Fort Hare Academy, which has a partnership with Cricket South Africa, where he was studying a diploma course in Marketing Management. He had previously represented Border Schools at the Coca-Cola Khaya Majola Under-19 national cricket week in 2010 and 2011.
“This is shocking news for the entire South African cricketing community,” said CSA chief Executive, Haroon Lorgat, “and on behalf of the CSA family I extend our deepest condolences to his family, his friends and his cricketing colleagues. We will do everything we can to provide counselling and support to his family as well as the staff and players of the Academy who have understandably been deeply affected by this traumatic event.”
Ngam added: “We are waiting on results on what could have been the cause. He didn’t show any signs of anything being wrong. He was not struggling to breathe and he didn’t have any known heart problems. We want to make sure something like this does not happen again.”
Tsiki is survived by his brothers, Khaya and Cebo, and his sister, Neliswa. Cebo represented SA Schools in 2007 and made his franchise debut for the Cape Cobras during the course of the 2015-16 season.
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Source: ESPN Crickinfo