After being on a ventilator for nearly a month, former India cricketer Jacob Martin has been shifted to the general ward from the ICU (Intensive Care Unit). Martin had an accident in Baroda, which caused serious injuries to his liver and lungs. However Martin is now out of danger and can talk. His wife Khyati said that though financial assistance has been received from several sources, she will be needing more money in the coming days.
In the last few weeks, help has come from Baroda and Indian cricketing circles. Khyati said she has received calls and financial support — from as little as Rs 500, to over a lakh— from various quarters.
There have also been umpires and match referees who have sent their contribution as has the Baroda Ranji Trophy team. There were some who couldn’t support financially but were present personally.
“There are people who donated big and there were some who donated small depending upon their capacity. I got help from Indian cricketers, BCCI, Baroda Cricket Association and even Chennai Super Kings but I will be needing more financial assistance in the coming days as chances are that Jacob will be in hospital for two more months,” Khyati said.
Till now, Martin has received around Rs 16 lakh as assistance from various quarters. The hospital expenses incurred so far have been more than Rs 15 lakh.
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has provided support and so have former pacers Ashish Nehra and Zaheer Khan, who played with Jacob. Krunal Pandya sent a blank cheque. There are many who are about to lend support.
Former India stumper Kiran More said the moment he got to know about Jacob’s condition, he and former Baroda opener Rakesh Parikh went to the hospital. “I went the next day itself and I knew the doctor very well. So I was in constant touch with them. It was under me that Jacob made his debut. His condition was not that bad initially, he even spoke to me before going into coma for a brief period. When I received a message that he was out of danger, it was a great sigh of relief. His wife had asked for financial help, and the BCA and BCCI arranged for it soon,” More said.
News of the accident shocked the cricketing fraternity in Baroda. Irfan Pathan was playing Ranji Trophy for Jammu and Kashmir when the incident took place. It was his elder brother Yusuf, who drove to the hospital and later informed Irfan about the incident.
Irfan made his first-class debut under Jacob’s captaincy, and the all-rounder regretted that he was not there when his captain needed him the most.
“I spoke to Jacob’s wife but obviously she was not in a position to speak too much. Such types of incident can happen to anyone and he is from our fraternity, and we are a family. I will be meeting Jacob soon. As a cricketer, we all have differences at some point of time but what was good to see was that people have come forward to help Jacob. I am told things are fine now,” Pathan said.
Munaf Patel was in his village when he got a call from former Baroda secretary and BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel seeking help for Jacob. The former India pacer agreed straightaway.
“I said whatever help I can provide, I will. Other cricketers too came forward, apart from BCCI and BCA. Jacob has helped Baroda win the Ranji Trophy and it was time Baroda repays him during these tough times. Ab use zarorat hai, so how can I say no? This incident has brought all Baroda cricketers together. All have come forward to help. They can be the family in these tough times. There will be ones who will visit the hospital. Jisko jaisa theek lag raha hai log waise help kar rahe hain,” Munaf said.