Bat-maker Ashraf Chaudhary, who has repaired bats for the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli, has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been admitted to the Seven Hills Hospital in suburban Andheri. Apart from helping Kohli and Tendulkar with their blades, Ashraf had also fixed the damaged bats of the likes of Steve Smith, Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard.

‘Ashraf Chacha’, as he is popularly known in the cricketing circles, was earlier admitted to a suburban hospital in Chembur, and is suffering from multiple illnesses. He is said to be in his 60s.

After he tested positive for Coronavirus, Tendulkar came to his aid and ensured that he was shifted to a facility specifically designated to treat the infection. “He (the bat-maker) tested COVID-19 positive in the hospital in Chembur upon which Tendulkar spoke to me and requested me to shift him to the Seven Hills Hospital, which is a dedicated COVID facility,” Dr Bhujang Pai, Head of Radiology, Seven Hills Hospital, was quoted by PTI on Friday.

“We have shifted Ashraf Chacha to the hospital and are closely monitoring his condition,” he added.

Tendulkar had earlier helped ailing bat-repairer Ashraf when he was hospitalised in Chembur and even contributed financially for his treatment. Seven Hills Hospital Dean Dr Balkrishna Adsul is monitoring Ashraf’s treatment.

Ashraf has fixed bats of several noted cricketers but fell on hard times due to COVID-19 as both his health and business took a beating. Even international players like Australian Smith, West Indian Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard have all hit sixes with bats mended by Ashraf.

He is an ever-present figure inside the Wankhede stadium during international and IPL matches.

The bat-maker owns a shop, which is situated at Dhobi Talao in South Mumbai and there have been times when he has repaired bats for free just for his love for the game and the players.