Former Australia opener Matthew Hayden, who is with the Pakistan team as a batting consultant has hailed opener Mohammad Rizwan as a "warrior" after revealing that he was in the Intensive Care Unit of a hospital for the previous two nights before the T20 World Cup semifinal against Australia.
Notably, Rizwan smashed four sixes as he top-scored with a 67 in the knockout match hours after being hospitalised for a chest infection. His innings took Pakistan to a competitive total and they dominated much of the proceedings only to fall short eventually and lost by 5 wickets.
Details from the Pakistan camp have also revealed that Rizwan had actually fallen ill on Tuesday which was when he had been hospitalised. He had rejoined the group only on match-day (November 11) as he helped Pakistan post 176-4 before Matthew Wade and Marcus Stoinis' innings snatched a win from Pakistan.
"Mohammad Rizwan developed a severe chest infection on 9th of November after which he was admitted to the hospital," Pakistan's team doctor Najeebullah Soomro confirmed as quoted in an official Cricket Australia communication.
"He spent two nights in the ICU recovering. He made an incredible recovery and was deemed fit before the match," he added.
Rizwan is a warrior: Hayden
Following the match, Hayden heaped praise on Rizwan for his innings of the highest quality in a crunch game amid the circumstances.
"This is a warrior, he's been brilliant through the campaign and he's got great courage," Hayden said.
Even Pakistan captain Babar Azam termed Rizwan a team man and revealed how he insisted on playing the match.
"Definitely he's a team man," Babar said.
"The way he played today it was exceptional. When I saw him he was a little bit down. But when I asked him about his health he said, 'no, I will play,'" he stated.
The loss was Pakistan's first in the tournament but enough to knock them out of the competition after what had been an impressive campaign, including wins over teams like India and New Zealand in the Super 12 round.
The Aussies, meanwhile, continued their unbeaten run against Pakistan in a knockout match of a World Cup and will now meet New Zealand in the final on November 14.