National award winning former athlete Dolly Catharine Cruz died of old age complications at her Tejturipara residence in the capital. She was 72.
Dolly, a life-long bachelor, was survived by her brother, sister, nephews and a host of well-wishers.
Born in Tejturipara in October 23 in 1945, Dolly started her career as a shot-put and discus thrower before trading her skills in few other sports, including cycling, cricket, hockey, handball, badminton, volleyball and swimming.
In an extended career Dolly took part in different national meets including Pakistan Olympics from 1956 to 1990 and grabbed around 50 gold medals in different meets.
She was given National Sports Award in 1981 as fifth woman until that period.
Dolly was also a part of Bangladesh women team’s India tour in 1983 and she was credited for making a major contribution to women’s cricket of the country.
She was a member of Bangladesh Cricket Board’s first women’s wing.
Former athlete Shah Alam expressed deep condolence at the death of Dolly.
‘It was a great loss for us because she loved the sports very much,’ Shah Alam told New Age.
‘She was also my colleague in Bangladesh Jute Mills Corporation for a long time.
‘As a person she was an outspoken woman and she never bowed down her head to anyone.’
Dolly’s team-mate and former national handball player Hamida Begum said Dolly had been suffering with different senile diseases for the last couple of months.
Hamida claimed that Dolly was one of the pioneer persons behind Bangladesh women’s cricket.
‘Apa [Dolly] always thought over how Bangladesh’s women cricket would improve,’ said Hamida.
‘She coached lot of women cricketers at the Women’s Sports Complex.
‘She was a sports passionate woman and always tried to
play any kind of sports even at her old age.’
Her dead body was taken to the Sultana Kamal Women’s Sports Complex, where she spent most of the time in her life as athlete, coach and organiser, for last honour the afternoon.
She was laid to rest at the Tejgaon Christian Graveyard on Saturday evening.
Bangladesh Sports Press Association and Bangladesh Women Sports Federation expressed their condolence through press release.
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