Former Indian cricketer and commentator Arun Lal, had been missing from Indian television for some time. The reason being was his silent battle with jaw cancer, which was detected in January 2016. The 60-year-old Lal underwent a 14-hour surgery in a Kolkata hospital on Saturday, which included replacement of the jaw. Arun Lal said, “It’s a rare and dangerous cancer. The symptoms were detected in time (in January) before I went through a rigorous treatment process. Thank God, I have been able to hold my place. Obviously it is like a new life. It was tough but I am indebted to the fantastic job by the doctors. I got calls from close friends.”

Arun Lal was known for his fortitude during a seven-year international career as well. He made six Test fifties for India one on debut against Sri Lanka in 1982 and two against Pakistan in the same match at Eden Gardens in 1987 – and played his final matches for India on the tour of West Indies in 1988-89. Arun Lal struck an unbeaten half-century in the 1989-90 Ranji Trophy final as Bengal ended a 51-year wait for the trophy. He played first-class cricket until 1995 and was an active presence in club cricket for a further six years. Lal announced his retirement from competitive cricket at the age of 45.

Arun Lal is not the only Indian who has won the battle against cancer. Yuvraj Singh, India’s greatest match-winner, was diagnosed with cancer after India’s successful World Cup triumph in 2011. After he successfully completed his treatment, Yuvraj had said, “When I got cancer, I asked god why me. But then, when I got Man of the Tournament prize, I didn’t say why me. So these things are part of life and you have to take them in your stride.”

Arun Lal wants to spend time with his family, but has confirmed that he will return to commentary very soon.

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