An umpire standing in a cricket match in the Israeli city of Ashdod was killed after being struck by a ball on Saturday, Israeli police said.
Police said the 58-year-old umpire, who was not named, was taken to Barzilai Medical Center in the nearby town of Ashkelon in critical condition after a cricket ball struck his upper body, causing a heart attack. The man later died of his injuries at the hospital.
Shmuel, who was present at the match, said, "The pitcher threw the ball towards the batsman, who hit the ball. The ball hit (cricket) bats that were in the background, and came at the umpire at a very high speed. The umpire was standing about 2-3 meters behind the bats."
"It's a very strong ball made from wood and leather. He collapsed immediately and it took ten minutes until someone qualified arrived and began to treat him," continued Shmuel.
Avital Felix, the chairman of the cricket association in Ashdod, said, "During the game, the players are required to wear a helmet but not the umpire. He was hit and collapsed. The other players tried to help him and revive him until the crews came. It is a sad day for the entire cricket branch. He was a very well-known player in Ashdod and highly respected umpire, and he held a couple of records in the game, but he was also a good friend and a man who really loved the game and the players."
The death came two days after Australian batsman Phillip Hughes died in hospital after being struck by a ball during a domestic first-class match in Sydney.
Cricket is not a major sport in Israel however Ashdod is one of the main centers for the sport as it has a large number of Jewish immigrants from India.