Former Indian pacer and current chief selector of Mumbai Salil Ankola was hospitalized on Sunday (February 28) after contracting the COVID-19 virus.  Notably, the cricketer-turned-actor turned 53 on Monday (March 1), but he had to spend his birthday in the hospital. On the eve of his special day, Ankola took to Instagram and asked fans to pray for his speedy recovery. The Kurukshetra actor shared a picture of himself from the hospital and called his 53rd birthday 'unforgettable.' Although he mentioned that the experience is scary, Ankola also promised to be fit again soon. Salil Ankola Spends 53rd Birthday in Hospital Due to COVID-19.

"Bringing in my birthday tomorrow with COVID 19 catching up with me. Unforgettable birthday. It's scary to go through this but will be needing all your blessings to come through with this. Will be back soon full throttle," the 53-year-old, who represented India in 20 ODIs and one Test match between 1989 and 1997, wrote on the picture-sharing website.

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The comment got flooded in no time, with fans wishing for Ankola's speedy recovery. Even many prominent celebrities like Suniel Shetty and Delnaaz Irani also showered wishes for the Vikraal Aur Gabraal actor.

Last year, in December, Ankola was named the chairman of the Mumbai Cricket Association's (MCA) selection committee. Although he played a handful of matches for the national team, he had to quit the game at 28 due to a bone tumour.  Salil then tried his hand in acting and featured in several popular TV shows in late 90s. He also featured in many films, such as Kurukshetra, Pitaah and Chura Liyaa Hai Tumne.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 01, 2021 06:14 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website