Nagpur: Kunal Shirish Lonkar, a former Vidarbha Under-15 Captain passed away on Wednesday due to Covid-19 infection. He was 33.
Kunal was not feeling well since last week as he had tested COVID positive on March 30. A resident of Dabha, Lonkar is survived by his wife and a five-year-old son. It is learnt that Lonkar could not get a bed in any hospital on time.
Lonkar had represented Vidarbha in the Under-15 and Under-17 category in the BCCI tournaments. He was a right-handed middle-order batsman and part-time offspinner. Lonkar was captain of Vidarbha Under-15 side in the 2003-04 season in the Polly Umrigar Trophy. After scoring a half-century against the visiting Madhya Pradesh team at the old VCA ground at Civil Lines, Lonkar hammered 149 runs against Rajasthan at Bhilwara to impress the national junior selectors. He was promptly called to attend a two-day Indian team selection trials at Bangalore for the U-15 Asia Cup scheduled be held at Sharjah. But unfortunatly he was not selected. Kunal later went on to represent Vidarbha in the Under17 category too but he lost focus after demise of his father.
Lonkar played his best cricket during the season between 2001 and 2005. Batting at No 3 and No 4 positions, he had scored heavily in the local cricket and BCCI’s domestic tournaments for a couple of seasons. A student of St Xavier’s High School, Hingna and later Dhanwate National College, Lonkar used to play local cricket tournaments for Ramdaspeth Youth Sporting Club (RYSC) and Central India Sports Foundation (CISF) teams.