ONE YEAR AGO, swashbuckling Scintilla Cricket Club star Ashraful Islam Johnny almost died after contracting tuberculosis of the brain. Because of the complex nature of his illness, the talented opener was hospitalised for six months and it was touch and go whether he would survive.
Johnny’s condition is rare and complex, and for more than a year he has been taking a combination of 12 antibiotic tablets in a daily basis. As part of the first-ever trial of this method carried out by University College London, in collaboration with University College London Hospitals, Johnny is involved in video-observed treatment. This involves him recording himself taking his medicine on a smartphone, and then sending the recording on a secure server to his health care workers, so they are aware that he is responding to the treatment.
Despite his ill health, the inspirational Johnny is passionate about his community and is frequently involved in volunteering his time at homeless soup kitchens, fundraising and washing cars for charitable causes.
Johnny’s dynamic displays with the bat have attracted interest, and this year he has secured cricket sponsorship from T&B UK Trading Ltd. Immediately after securing his sponsorship, the big hearted Johnny donated the full balance to support Scintilla Cricket Club with costs for the coming season, during which the Club will play four teams in four competitions.
Scintilla club captain Ahmed Choudhury said: “This is a typical gesture from a young man with a heart of gold. Not everyone could have overcome such adversity and come back fighting. He is a credit to humanity and we are honoured to have such an individual amongst our ranks. I’m sure he will have another splendid season ahead.”
Johnny added: “I’m grateful every day for my recovery and health. I have a second chance and not everyone is as fortunate as me. I want to thank everyone for their support and prayers. To be playing cricket is just a massive bonus and I wanted to repay the faith and support of my team mates by giving a little something back. We have huge costs to survive and I know the money will be well used.”