An aspiring cricketer Zubair Ahmed Mohmend died on August 14 after being struck by a ball twice while practising in nets at Sir Nazim Cricket Academy, Mardan.

The tragic death of the 18-year-old sent shockwaves among the local cricket community. The Pakistan Cricket Board also took to twitter to express the grief and emphasise the importance of protective gears.

"(The) tragic death of Zubair Ahmed is another reminder that safety gear i.e. helmet must be worn at all times. Our sympathies with Zubair's family," reads a tweet by the PCB.

The passionate cricketer from Katlang area of Mardan was a student of intermediate and a regular visitor to Sir Nazim Cricket Academy, where he used to spend time doing training and net practice.

A brother to five sisters and two brothers, Zubair was working hard to become a shining star of cricket, said Academy Coach Bakht Mohammad.

“It was an off day in the academy due to 14th August. We had organised a ceremony to celebrate the 71st Independence Day at the academy where world acclaimed cricketer Fakhar Zaman was invited," recalled Mohammad.

He maintained that the staffers asked Zubair not to play on an off day but Ahmed insisted to play in nets with other players and went inside.

Mohammad said that Ahmed was struck by a ball twice. “First the ball hit him near his ear and then the second ball hit near his neck due to which he collapsed,” he said, adding that subsequently Ahmed was rushed to a hospital at Katlang where the doctors referred him to Mardan's hospital.

"Ahmed breathed his last on his way to Murdan," he said.

The coach, however, said that the deceased cricketer was wearing all safety gears including helmet while he was practising.