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A ground in Sharjah

A ground in Sharjah

Published: Sat 22 Jun 2024, 8:21 AM

Last updated: Sat 22 Jun 2024, 1:56 PM

The UAE’s cricket community is in shock as they mourn the sudden death of Mandeep Singh, who was hailed as a “fantastic all-rounder” and the “best teammate ever.” His team members find it hard to accept that he is no longer with them and are reeling from what happened on Thursday (June 20) night.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Vision Cricket Ground management said that the Sharjah ground was rented for an ongoing tournament and hosted three matches on Thursday. The Dubai Super Kings (DSK) played a three-hour T22 match against the Titans from 8.30pm until 11.50pm.


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According to the DSK team, during the second innings of the match, the captain approached Mandeep to bowl the 17th over, but he declined, complaining of discomfort. He requested to retire from the game and proceeded to lie down on the other side of the ropes. Suspecting exhaustion, his teammates fanned him so he could cool down. They also served him energy drinks, juices, and candies. After 10-15 minutes, the expat in his 40s said he felt better but decided not to return to the field.






When the match was over, Mandeep hitched a ride with his teammates and headed home to Al Nahda 2, Dubai. Barely 10km from the stadium, as they reached the Sharjah-Nazwa Road, the Indian expat again complained of uneasiness and shortness of breath. He then started gasping for breath and collapsed inside the car.

His DSK teammates safely parked the car and laid him on the ground to perform CPR on him while another called for an ambulance at around 12.13am. They were instructed to remain where they had parked.

Once the emergency team arrived, they tried to revive Mandeep with CPR and defibrillation, according to his teammates. They then rushed him to Al Daid Hospital, where the doctors had declared him dead.

Mandeep Singh. Photo: FB/Superfix Sports

Mandeep Singh. Photo: FB/Superfix Sports

Although it is suspected that he suffered from heat exhaustion, the exact cause of Mandeep’s death remains unknown, pending details from the forensic department. His body will be handed over to his family after the report and police clearance.

Originally from Mumbai, Mandeep is survived by his wife and two sons. He lived in the UAE for the past 15 years, working for a Dubai-based airline company. His colleagues and teammates have come forward to support the grieving family and finalise all the formalities.

Tributes pour in

As news of Mandeep’s death spread among cricketing enthusiasts in the UAE, players who shared the field with him paid heartfelt tribute to their beloved teammate and friend.

One team member, who requested anonymity, said, “He was a fantastic, humble, and energetic guy. He often played two to three times a week and was enthusiastic about sports, especially cricket. He was our go-man with the ball and the bat. He was also quite fit, and I have never heard him complain about any issues. What happened on Thursday night was a shocker, and we cannot accept that Mandeep is no more.”

Another DSK cricketer said, “He was a gem of a person, and we are all devastated to lose such a mate and a senior team member. He played for several teams and was a complete all-around team player who never had any disputes with anyone. He was a true sportsman and a complete player. May he rest in peace, and may his family find strength in this difficult time.”

A player, who was in the vehicle when Mandeep collapsed, was shaken from the incident and was at a loss when Khaleej Times reached out to him. “We are devastated and heartbroken. I cannot express my feelings right now,” he said.

Naveed Ahmed, Chairman of Superfix Sports, which organises cricket tournaments across the UAE, offered his condolences and said, “It is with deep sorrow that we mourn the untimely passing of Mandeep Singh, a dedicated player in various cricket leagues across the UAE.

“Our heartfelt condolences go out to Mandeep’s family, friends, and the entire cricket community affected by this loss. May Mandeep Singh rest in peace.

“This incident is a stark reminder of the importance of prioritising health and well-being in sports. I urge all players to stay hydrated, take necessary breaks, and listen to their bodies.”

Symptoms and immediate treatment

Dr Enas Othman, family medicine, Fakeeh University Hospital Dubai, told Khaleej Times: “If someone is suspected of having heat stroke, quick action is necessary to avoid serious complications. The basic treatment steps include:

  1. Move the person to a cool place
  2. Cool down the body – use cold water or cold compresses to cool the body, especially on the head and neck. Immersing the person in cold water if possible is also effective.
  3. Hydrate – offer water or sports drinks if the person is conscious to replenish fluids and salts lost through sweating.
  4. Remove extra clothing to facilitate the cooling process.
  5. Contact medical emergency services for immediate help, especially if the person is unconscious or unresponsive to initial treatment.

Dr Enas Othman

Dr Enas Othman

She added: “We are in the summer season. Heat stroke is a serious medical condition that can have severe consequences if not treated quickly. Here are the main symptoms of heat stroke:

  1. High body temperature that can reach 40°C or higher.
  2. The affected person experiences a sharp, persistent headache that is hard to ignore.
  3. The individual may suffer from dizziness, nausea, and possibly vomiting.
  4. The skin becomes red and dry, and the person may feel intense heat when touching their skin.
  5. The heart rate increases significantly, causing strong palpitations.
  6. The person may have trouble breathing and find it hard to inhale air normally.
  7. In severe cases, the individual may lose consciousness.
  8. Painful muscle cramps can occur.9. Confusion or delirium, making it difficult for the person to think clearly or behave normally.

Hot weather guidelines

At any time, high-intensity exercise in a hot environment, with the associated elevation of body temperature, can lead to heat illness. Heat illness in sports presents as heat exhaustion or the more severe heat stroke.

Heat exhaustion

  • Characterised by a high heart rate, dizziness, headache, loss of endurance/skill/confusion and nausea.
  • The skin may still be cool/sweating, but there will be signs of developing vasoconstriction (eg, pale colour).
  • The rectal temperature may be up to 40°C and the athlete may collapse on stopping activity. A doctor or nurse should measure rectal temperature.

To avoid heat exhaustion, people should immediately cease their activity and take a rest the moment they feel unwell during exercise. A further benefit comes if the rest is in a shaded area with some passing breeze (from a fan if necessary) and the person takes extra hydration. Misting or spraying with water can also help.

Heat stroke

  • Characteristics are similar to heat exhaustion but with dry skin, confusion and collapse.
  • Heat stroke may arise in an athlete who has not been identified as suffering from heat exhaustion and has persisted in further activity.
  • Core temperature measured in the rectum is the only reliable diagnosis of a collapsed athlete to determine heat stroke.

This is a potentially fatal condition and must be treated immediately. It should be assumed that any collapsed athlete is in danger of heat stroke. The best first aid measures are “Strip/Soak/Fan”:

  • Strip off any excess clothing;
  • Soak with water;
  • Fan;
  • Ice placed in the groin and armpits is also helpful.

The aim is to reduce body temperature as quickly as possible. The athlete should immediately be referred for treatment by a medical professional.

Dehydration

Dehydration is fluid loss which occurs during exercise, mainly due to perspiration and respiration. It makes an athlete more susceptible to fatigue and muscle cramps. Inadequate fluid replacement before, during and after exercise will lead to excessive dehydration and may lead to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

To avoid dehydration, Sports Medical Australia recommended that:

  • Athletes drink approximately 500ml (2 glasses) in the 2 hours prior to exercise;
  • During exercise longer than 60 minutes, 2-3 cups (500-700ml) of cool water or sports drinks are sufficient for most sports.
  • After exercise, replenish your fluid deficit to ensure that you are fully rehydrated but not over-hydrated.

(With inputs from Angel Tesorero)

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