Kanjibhai Sakariya, the father of Rajasthan Royals fast bowler Chetan Sakariya, died in Bhavnagar, Gujarat, on Sunday from Covid-19. Kanjibhai had tested positive while his son was playing in IPL 2021, and is the second family member Sakariya has lost this year. Weeks before the IPL auction in February, his younger brother Rahul died by suicide.
Sakariya was bought by the Royals for INR 1.2 crore ($ 164,000) and it was a good investment for them as the 23-year-old uncapped left-armer consistently impressed in the tournament before it was postponed. On his IPL debut in a high-scoring match against PBKS where both teams scored 438 runs, Sakariya was the most economical bowler with figures of 3 for 31 and 13 dot balls. Overall, Sakariya had picked up 7 wickets including those of KL Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, MS Dhoni, Ambati Rayudu and Nitish Rana.
On a personal front, Sakariya had become his family’s solitary breadwinner after Kanjibhai’s tempo business folded. Living in a one-room house until the time of the IPL auction, Sakariya had told recently that his dream was to build a new house from his IPL earnings.
Among other Indian players at the IPL to have family affected by Covid-19 was CSK’s captain MS Dhoni, whose parents tested positive and DC’s spinner R Ashwin, who left the IPL after several of his family tested positive. India women’s batter Veda Krishnamurthy lost both her mother and sister to the virus.