'Heartbreaking': T20 World Cup rocked by devastating tragedy

·5-min read
Pictured here, curator Mohan Singh died hours before a T20 World Cup match at his ground.
Ground curator Mohan Singh was tragically found dead in his Abu Dhabi home before New Zealand's T20 World Cup win. Pic: Twitter

Tragedy has rocked the T20 World Cup, with news that curator Mohan Singh has been found dead at his home in Abu Dhabi.

Singh was the head curator of the Sheikh Zayed Stadium pitch in the United Arab Emirates, with news of his tragic death coming hours before New Zealand's win over Afghanistan at the ground.

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Authorities reportedly discovered Singh's body inside his home, with no cause of death immediately reported.

Abu Dhabi Cricket confirmed the devastating news in a statement before the match.

“It is with great sadness that Abu Dhabi Cricket announces that head curator, Mohan Singh, has passed away today," the statement read.

“Mohan has been with Abu Dhabi Cricket for 15 years and has played a pivotal role in all of the venue’s success during that time.

“Sunday’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Super 12 game between New Zealand and Afghanistan went ahead as scheduled, with the support of Mohan‘s family and our groundstaff. Tributes to Mohan and his incredible achievements will be honoured in the coming days.

“Our thoughts are with Mohan’s family and we ask for media to respect their privacy at this tragic time.”

An ICC spokesperson added: “We are deeply saddened and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends, Abu Dhabi Cricket and everyone connected with the event.”

News of the tragedy spread quickly on social media, where shocked cricket fans paid tribute to the curator.

New Zealand win hours after tragic news

Despite the awful news, New Zealand's match against Afghanistan went ahead as scheduled, as per a request from Abu Dhabi Cricket and Singh's family.

The Group II match saw the Kiwis end India's hopes of reaching the semi-finals courtesy of a comprehensive eight-wicket victory against Afghanistan.

Tournament heavyweights India needed the Black Caps to lose to have any hopes of progressing, but New Zealand romped home in 18.1 overs to become the second team from Group II, behind Pakistan, to make the semis.

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson made an unbeaten 40 and Dean Conway added 36 not out to steer the Kiwis to victory after restricting Afghanistan to 8-124.

The Black Caps will now face favourites England in the T20 World Cup semi-finals.

Pictured here, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson plays a shot as Afghanistan's wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad watches on at the T20 World Cup.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson (R) plays a shot as Afghanistan's wicketkeeper Mohammad Shahzad watches on at the T20 World Cup. Pic: Getty

In the other semi-final, undefeated Pakistan will play Australia in Dubai on Thursday.

India needed the Black Caps to suffer an upset defeat but that never looked likely after New Zealand's pace attack, led by Trent Boult (3-17) and Tim Southee (2-24) never allowed the Afghans to get a foothold on the contest.

Najibullah Zadran smashed a career-best 73 to rescue Afghanistan from a top order collapse but it was not enough against a rampant New Zealand side.

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with AAP

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