Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) doctor Najeebullah Soomro has revealed that the Pakistan team’s opener, Mohammad Rizwan, was given a prohibited substance while recovering during last year’s T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Rizwan had a severe chest infection and was battling in the ICU in between Pakistan’s matches in the tournament. Ahead of Pakistan’s semifinal against Australia, he was treated and the opener made a quick recovery to be available for the game.
It has now been revealed that Soomro had to request permission from the ICC to use a medicine that was prohibited for athletes as they were left with no choice considering Rizwan’s condition.
“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 said while conducting an interview with Rizwan.
“I am astonished at the pace he had recovered” – Mohammad Rizwan’s doctor
Specialist Pulmonologist at Medeor Hospital, Saheer Sainalabdeen treated Rizwan and was a strong catalyst in Rizwan’s stunning recovery. However, he was thoroughly impressed with Rizwan’s determination and resilience, even surprised at the pace of recovery.
“Rizwan had a strong desire to play for his nation in the crucial knockout match. He was strong, determined, and confident. I am astonished at the pace he had recovered. His pain at the time of admission was 10/10. So, we subjected him for a detailed evaluation to diagnose the condition.”
“Esophageal spasms can feel like sudden and severe chest pain that lasts for a few minutes to hours. Rizwan had a severe infection. Recovery and gaining fitness before the semifinal seemed unrealistic. It would have normally taken 5-7 days for anybody to recover,” Saheer had said at the time.
Rizwan went on to score 67 off 52 balls for Pakistan in the semifinal against Australia. Unfortunately, it ended in a losing cause as the Aussies rode on late heroics from Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis to chase the target down.