India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was extending all possible help to the inventor of his famous helicopter shot and one of his close childhood friends Santosh Lal, who has been diagnosed with acute pancreatitis and was airlifted to Delhi on Monday for treatment.
"Former Ranji cricketer Santosh Lal was taken to Delhi by an 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 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 Lal for the last three days and saw him off at the airport here.
Dhoni, who is supposedly on a vacation in the United States, reportedly credited his 'helicopter shot' to Lal, who used to execute the stroke in Ranji Trophy matches.
Lal is currently working with the Railways.