Sports News Today February 14: At 15, budding cricketer Kamal Kaniyal, who was part of the Uttar Pradesh U-14 and U-16 camps, was diagnosed with leukaemia, cancer of the blood. Three years on, Kaniyal, on his Ranji Trophy debut for Uttarakhand on Thursday scored 101 off 160 balls with the help of 17 fours against Maharashtra in Round nine of Elite Group C on Thursday.

Kaniyal’s knock helped Uttarakhand take a slender 44 runs first-innings lead over Maharashtra. Maharashtra were bowled out for 207 in their first innings, while Uttarakhand managed 251 riding on Kaniyal’s 101.

“I was 15 when I suffered cancer, one year I couldn’t do anything. I had leukaemia, my family didn’t tell me much then. I used to often fall ill and my platelet count would drop rapidly,” Kaniyal told The Indian Express after the end of day two’s play at the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Stadium, Baramati.

But, things were not rosy when he was suffering from leukaemia and even though he recovered after undergoing five rounds of chemotherapy, something he had no idea what it meant, a complete recovery took one whole year. On the upside, the doctor had told him and the family that there was a high rate of recovery, as Kaniyal was young and add to that the support he got from people around him – that gave him the confidence to fight leukaemia.

“The doctor said chances of recovery are high. The doctor said at this age the body recovers quickly. had positive people around me who motivated and kept me happy.I told myself now that I am getting the treatment I shouldn’t worry much,” Kaniyal told the national daily.

However, he got back on track as soon as possible and after 800 runs in nine under-19 games, including one double hundred, two centuries and three fifties, he was picked for the Uttarakhand Ranji Trophy side.

This is Uttarakhand’s third season in the Indian domestic circuit after Lodha Committee’s recommendation came in and handed full membership to the association. Kaniyal was not able to make it to the UP side before Uttarkhand were awarded full membership. Almost all the budding cricketers from the region relied on getting in the UP cricket system until 2017.