India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was extending all possible help to the inventor of his famous helicopter shot and one of his close childhood friend Santosh Lal, who has been diagnosed with acute pancreatitis and was airlifted to Delhi today for treatment.
"Former Ranji cricketer Santosh Lal was taken to Delhi by air ambulance and admitted to a hospital there. Besides Dhoni, all his friends have come forward in helping him fight his disease. Dhoni is in touch and helping in making all necessary arrangements for the treatment," said a close friend of Dhoni.
Lal, a Ranji player, has been identified with acute pancreatitis and was admitted in a unconscious state at a Ranchi hospital before being airlifted to the national capital.
Jharkhand State Cricket Association secretary Rajesh Verma said the JSCA has donated Rs one lakh to Lal for his treatment and Rs 39,500 was collected among the association members and handed over to his family.
"Lal has played Ranji Trophy with Dhoni," Chanchal Bhattacharya, Dhoni's coach during his formative years, said.
Suraj Mohan, another friend, was with ailing Lal for the last three days and saw him off at the airport here.
Dhoni, who is out on a tour of the US, reportedly credited his helicopter shot to Lal, who used to execute the stroke in Ranji Trophy matches with style.
Lal is working with the Railways.