Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Mohammed Rizwan was in the ICU for two days before the T20 World Cup semi-final last year but still went on to amass a crucial 67 against Australia. The star player earned plaudits for his grit and determination after his picture from his hospital bed went viral on the internet. Unfortunately, Rizwan's heroics could not help Pakistan avoid a defeat as Australia's Matthew Wade played the innings of his life to pull off a heist.
Rizwan, who ended as the third-highest run-scorer of the T20 showpiece event with 281 runs in six games, developed a severe chest infection after which he was admitted to the hospital. Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) doctor Najeebullah Soomro recalled the 'ordeal' Rizwan went through and said he got permission from the International Cricket Council (ICC) before injecting the player with the 'prohibited' substance.
"You were unable to breathe and I have to get permission from the ICC to inject that medicine to help you recover. Usually, it is prohibited for the athletes but since there was no other option available, we have to take permission from the ICC to inject that medicine," Dr Soomro was quoted as saying during an interview with Rizwan.
Rizwan had been suffering from intermittent fever, persistent cough, and chest tightness for 3-5 days before being hospitalised. After the tests were conducted, the results confirmed that Rizwan had severe laryngeal infection leading to an oesophagal spasm and bronchospasm.
Rizwan is currently playing for English county Sussex. He made headlines after sharing a century partnership with Cheteshwar Pujara in the Second Division of English cricket's red-ball County Championship. Rizwan marked his home debut for the south coast club with 79, and then scored 31 against Middlesex.
Earlier, the wicketkeeper-batter had shared details of the seriousness of the injury, saying he wasn't breathing when he reached the hospital.
"When I reached the hospital, I wasn't breathing. And the nurses told me that my windpipes were choked. They were not telling me anything. I was told that I would get better by morning and discharged. During the afternoon, I was told that I will be discharged in the evening.
"So, I asked one of the nurses and then I was told that had it been late in reaching the hospital by 20 minutes, both my windpipes would have burst. You will have to be there for two nights or more," Rizwan had told Cricket Pakistan.
"The doctor told me that he wanted me to play the semi-final for Pakistan which gave me a boost. But later, when he told me that 'Rizwan, you are not in a condition to play'… that took me back a little. He told me there are risks involved. Thankfully, things started getting better and I was able to make a quick recovery."