Matthew Hayden has hailed Pakistan opener Mohammad Rizwan as a “warrior” after he emerged from intensive care to almost take down Australia.
- The Pakistan team has revealed Mohammad Rizwan was admitted to hospital with a chest infection two days before the T20 World Cup semi
- Rizwan spent two nights in intensive care before being released on the day of the match
- He went on to score 67 off 52 balls in Pakistan’s five-wicket loss to Australia
Rizwan launched four powerful sixes in his 67 runs in the Twenty20 World Cup semi-final for Pakistan, before it emerged he had been battling a chest infection.
Further details from within the Pakistan camp revealed Rizwan had fallen ill on Tuesday and spent two nights in a Dubai ICU bed.
He was only released on the morning of Thursday’s semi-final, helping Pakistan to 4-176 before Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis fought back to get Australia home with an over to spare.
“Mohammad Rizwan developed a severe chest infection on [the] ninth of November, after which he was admitted to the hospital,” Pakistan’s team doctor Najeebullah Soomro said.
“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.”
Rizwan also managed to shake off a Mitchell Starc bouncer to the helmet during his innings and later had a near faultless display with the gloves.
Three of his sixes came off Josh Hazlewood, while another was a massive sweep shot off Adam Zampa.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam, who put on an opening stand of 77 with Rizwan, also praised his determination.
“Definitely he’s a team man,” he said.
“The way he played today it was exceptional.
Pakistan’s loss to Australia marks something of a missed opportunity, given the team went undefeated through their group and spent large parts of the past five years as world number one.
It comes after the other dominant team of the group stage — England — was shocked by New Zealand, creating an unlikely final between the trans-Tasman rivals.