Doctors who treated star cricketer Mohammad Rizwan on the eve of Pakistan’s crucial T20 World Cup semi-final clash with Australia said they were shocked at the batsman’s remarkable powers of recovery.
Rizwan was taking medication and coughing up blood just two hours before his heroic innings of 67 in his side’s losing battle with Australia at the Dubai International Cricket stadium on Thursday.
The wicketkeeper-batsman, 29, was admitted to the emergency department of Medeor Hospital in the early hours of November 9 after complaining of chest pain and breathing difficulties.
Rizwan was treated at the hospital’s intensive care unit and looked certain to miss Pakistan’s vital semi-final match, after having a severe viral chest infection diagnosed.
“Oesophageal spasms can feel like sudden and severe chest pain that lasts for a few minutes to hours,” said Dr Saheer Sainalabdeen, a pulmonologist at Medeor Hospital, who treated the cricketer.
“His pain at the time of admission was 10/10. So we subjected him to a detailed evaluation to diagnose the condition.”
Rizwan presented with severe retrosternal chest pain mimicking cardiac pain and had been suffering from intermittent fever, a persisting cough and chest tightness for around three to five days.
The medical team immediately stabilised him and gave him symptomatic medications to ease his pain.
“Rizwan had a strong desire to play for his nation in the crucial knockout match,” said Dr Sainalabdeen.
“He was strong, determined, and confident. I am astonished at the pace he had recovered.
“Rizwan had a severe infection, so his recovery and gaining fitness before the semi-final seemed unrealistic.
“It would have normally taken five to seven days for anybody to recover. Rizwan seemed very focused and believed in God.
“His only thoughts were about the semi-final.”
Rizwan was diagnosed with a severe laryngeal infection leading to an oesophageal spasm and bronchospasm.
The condition causes painful contractions of muscles within the oesophagus.
The cricketer, who plays for the Karachi Kings in the Pakistan Super League, was discharged from hospital on Wednesday at around noon, just 30 hours before Pakistan were due to take to the field in Dubai.
Amazingly, after being released from hospital, Rizwan was fit enough to open the batting and smashed three fours and four sixes in his quick-fire innings.
Despite Pakistan’s eventual defeat, doctors were astounded by the player’s rapid recovery and impressive big hitting.
“During sporting events, we have seen players coming up with injuries,” said Dr Sainalabdeen.
“But this is the first time a player with a severe infection of this scale had recovered so quickly.
“When Rizwan hit the big sixes, we were all happy. The power he has regained after the illness has been amazing.
“His dedication, commitment, and courage are truly commendable.”