Mohammed Rizwan has been hailed as a ‘warrior’ after it emerged that he scored 67 in Thursday’s T20 World Cup semi-final against Australia despite spending two days in an intensive care unit because of a chest infection.
Pakistan lost the match by five wickets as Australia keeper Matthew Wade hit a hat-trick of sixes off Shaheen Shah Afridi in the 19th over to take Australia to the final in a dramatic fashion. They will now face New Zealand on Sunday.
Rizwan’s fighting spirit, however, continues to be one of the main topics of discussion. Despite being ill, Rizwan battled hard and top-scored with a superb 67 off 52 balls while opening the batting for Pakistan. It was his innings that had four sixes and three fours that allowed Pakistan to post 176 for 4, batting first.
Rizwan’s availability on Thursday’s encounter against Australia in Dubai was unclear after reports stated that he had to miss the training sessions due to mild flu.
But it was former Australia opener and current Pakistan batting consultant Matthew Hayden who first confirmed Rizwan had actually got a chest infection.
“This is a warrior,” said Hayden after the semi-final while talking to Star Sports. “He’s been brilliant through the campaign. He battled through a severe chest condition and he has great courage.”
Mohammad Rizwan the warrior
Pakistan team doctor Najeeb Somroo later revealed Rizwan had spent two days in a hospital ICU due to a chest infection. “Mohammad Rizwan developed a severe chest infection on November 9th after which he was admitted to the hospital,” said Somroo in the press conference. “He spent two nights in the ICU recovering,”
“He made an incredible recovery and was deemed fit before the match. We can see his great determination and tenacity that shows his spirit of performing for the country. And we can see how he performed today.
“The decision regarding his health was made by the whole team management,” he added. “This was regarding the morale of the whole team and therefore we kept it within the team.”
Photos of Rizwan in a hospital bed went viral on social media. Former Pakistan pacer Shoaib Akhtar too took to Twitter to hail Rizwan’s fighting spirit.
He is indeed a warrior!
Australia’s Matthew Wade crashed Pakistan’s hopes of making it to the T20 World Cup final. He smashed three successive sixes off Shaheen Afridi in the penultimate over and lead his team to a five-wicket victory in Dubai on Thursday.
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