Rizwan 'spent two nights in ICU' before T20 World Cup semi-final
Pakistan's team doctor has revealed that Rizwan developed a "severe chest infection" on November 9
Pakistan wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan spent around 36 hours in the ICU of Medeor Hospital in Dubai, recovering from a chest infection, before taking part in the T20 World Cup semi-final against Australia on Thursday, the team doctor has said. Rizwan made 67 to propel Pakistan to 176, but the effort went in vain as Australia won by five wickets to enter the final.
"Mohammad Rizwan developed a severe chest infection on the 9th of November following which he was admitted to the hospital," Najeebullah Soomro, the Pakistan team doctor, told the media after the game. "He spent two nights in the ICU recovering. He made an incredible recovery and was deemed fit before the match.
"The decision regarding his health was made by the whole team management. And this was about the morale of the whole team. And therefore, we kept it within the team. 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 [Thursday]."
The news about the severity of Rizwan's health condition wasn't shared with the public until batting consultant Matthew Hayden revealed it while speaking with the official broadcaster during the semi-final.
"Mohammad Rizwan was in the hospital a night ago suffering from some sort of lung condition," Hayden said. "This is a warrior. He's been brilliant throughout the campaign, and he has great courage."
During the 13th over of Pakistan's innings, Rizwan also took a blow to the helmet while looking to hook Mitchell Starc. The ball hit the grille of his helmet, which pressed into his face and left a bruise in his right cheek. The Pakistan physio performed a concussion check on the field, and Rizwan was deemed fit to continue batting.
Both Rizwan and Shoaib Malik had missed Pakistan's training session on Wednesday with mild flu and were initially advised to delay training. The duo had returned negative tests for Covid-19. Rizwan was, however, hospitalised on November 9 and was discharged the next day but kept under observation in the hotel. Pakistan were not overly concerned as they believed he would recover in time to play.
Rizwan has been a key batter for Pakistan at the top of the order, and an important part of Pakistan's on-field leadership. He is the second-highest run-getter in the World Cup with 281 runs from six matches, just behind his opening partner and captain Babar Azam. During his innings against Australia, he became the first batter to score 1000 T20I runs in a calendar year: he currently has 1033 runs in 20 innings this year, at an average of 86.08 and a strike rate of 136.45.
Pakistan will start their journey later on Friday for Bangladesh from Dubai. The three-match T20I series will be followed by two Tests in Chattogram (November 26-30) and Dhaka (December 4-8). The squad for the Test series will be announced by November 15.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent