Pakistani record holder batter-wicket keeper Mohammad Rizwan, who reportedly developed a severe chest infection just before the T20 World Cup semi-final, narrated his journey from the hotel to the hospital and then to the cricket ground.
According to his doctor, Rizwan made a "miraculous recovery" last week after staying two days in the hospital to turn in a headline-grabbing performance in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup in the UAE where he top-scored with 67 in the semi-final against Australia.
In a conversation with the Pakistan Cricket Board, Rizwan said that though he had told his family in the hotel that he is just going to have an ECG done downstairs to keep them calm, he had lost his breath by the time he reached the hospital.
"My condition was not well," said Rizwan.
He said that the doctors told him that both his oesophagus and respiratory tract were blocked.
"They were not telling me anything and saying that I will get well by the morning," said Rizwan.
"The next afternoon, they told me that I will get discharged [from the hospital] by the evening."
The cricketer said at this point, he asked a nurse about his condition and she told him that "both his oesophagus and the reparatory tube would have burst if he got 20 minutes late" in reaching the hospital.
The nurse told Rizwan that he would have to remain hospitalised as long as the doctors would advise, he added.
Rizwan said that the medical team performed different kinds of tests but he kept himself convinced that "this test or that test would make him better."
He said that the doctor told him that he wants him [Rizwan] to play semi-final for Pakistan.
"This gave me a boost," said Rizwan, adding that one encouragement from the doctors made him take two steps towards the recovery.
Rizwan said he was a bit "dismayed when the doctor told him that his condition was not stable enough for him to play."
"He [doctor] told me: Rizwan you may have some risks due to this condition."
Rizwan said he told the doctor that he was perfectly well when he reached the hospital.
"I hadn't played the match at that time but if something had happened to me after the match, I wouldn't feel bad because it would be for Pakistan," Rizwan said he told the doctor.
He said that this motivated the doctors as well and they did "all those things" that made him recover fast.
Rizwan said that he was in pain but now the Almighty has made him well.
'No T20 World Cup team could benefit from powerplay as much as Pakistan'
While speaking about Pakistan's performance at the T20 World Cup, the cricketer said that none of the teams could benefit much from the powerplay in UAE during the entire tournament.
He said that Pakistan may have not scored more than other teams during the powerplays but if one realises, "even the power hitters in every team could finish around 42-45," while Pakistan's finished at 40 on average."
Rizwan termed Pakistan's performance during the powerplay "better than other teams," saying that "taking wickets and not letting the opponent team do the same was our strength during the tournament".
The cricketer said that he is not making a claim on his own but renowned cricketers of the world, who came to watch the World Cup, have also admitted this.
"I'm happy that I have scored the most runs in the calendar year. But I'm more delighted that I was able to secure this record for my country," Rizwan said.
Rizwan, who scored 1,743 runs in all Twenty20s in 2021, also a calendar year record, now has the chance to add a few more runs to his tally as Pakistan take on Bangladesh in a three-match series starting on Friday in Dhaka.
The cricketer shared the credit for his achievement with former English cricketer Richard Pybus and former Pakistani cricketers Inzamam-ul-Haq and Shahid Aslam, who coached the national squad.
"No one can hold the bat for you on the stage to make a difference but it is their guidelines and tips that give you the clue [about how to play]," said Rizwan.
He said that Pakistan's batting coach for the T20 World Cup Mathew Hayden's tips would be helpful not for only him but all the batters in the national squad in their careers.
'Conditions are different at every venue'
When asked what conditions does he expect in the field in Dhaka, Rizwan said that conditions are different at every venue.
He said that the conditions in Dhaka were favourable for spinners in the last Bangladesh tour in 2020.
"In the pre-World Cup scenario, the ball was gripping, spinning and turning a lot in Dhaka," said Rizwan while referring to Pakistan's previous Bangladesh tour.
He said that he can just have an idea about the pitch but he will assess what preparations have been done when he goes to train before the series.
Rizwan said he is feeling much better and he will start training from tomorrow (November 16).
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