'Warrior' Rizwan wins praise from Shoaib Akhtar, others for fighting semi-final knock

"Definitely Rizwan is a team man. The way he played today, it was exceptional," says skipper Babar Azam

Web Desk
— Twitter/@shoaib100mph
— Twitter/@shoaib100mph

Pakistan may have been knocked out of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 after losing the semi-final against Australia by 5 wickets, but their journey to the knockout stage was picture perfect.

The Babar Azam-led side won all five matches in the tournament until Australia defeated them after Marcus Stoinis (40) and Wade (41) put on an unbeaten stand of 81 to pull off the chase with a flurry of sixes to break thousands of Pakistani hearts in the near-packed stadium.

While people are acknowledging the boys for their fighting spirit, Mohammad Rizwan has managed to steal the limelight because of his fabulous innings despite being ill.

The wicketkeeper-batter scored a 52-ball 67, with the help of four sixes and three boundaries, as Pakistan set a challenging 177-run target for the Aussies. Though his knock was overshadowed by Matthew Wade’s heroics, Rizwan’s dedication was appreciated by all. 

Before the semi-final clash, Rizwan was down with the flu and spent two nights admitted to a Dubai hospital, where he was kept in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

 Reportedly, he had developed a severe chest infection and was given special medical attention. Former pace legend Shoaib Akhtar took to Twitter and shared a photo of the 29-year-old while he was hospitalised.

Calling him a “Hero”, he wrote: “Can you imagine this guy played for his country today [and] gave his best.

“He was in the hospital last two days. Massive respect @iMRizwanPak. Hero.”

During the post-match press conference skipper Babar Azam also acknowledged Rizwan's efforts. He said: "Definitely he's a team man. 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. And the way he played he showed that he's a team man. And I am very confident about his attitude and his performance," he said,

Senior commentator Melinda Farrell also showed concern for Rizwan’s health. “This is just unbelievable,” she wrote on Twitter.

“I hope Rizwan is ok. Incredibly, he did what he did last night.”

Popular musician Ali Zafar also shared Rizwan's picture in the hospital bed, writing: "What heroes are made of. #Rizwan"

"Hero. Inspiration. Role-model," sports anchor Shoaib Jatt appreciated Rizwan for his bravery.

Moreover, Rizwan was not only ill but he was also hit on the helmet by a bouncer during the semi-final clash, however, the star player still managed to score an impressive half-century.

A Twitter user Umer Sharif wrote: "For me, Rizwan defined the spirit of Pakistan Cricket. He was in the ICU for 2 days but played today; hit on the face with a bouncer but went on to be the top scorer; kept the wickets with a vicious bruise on the face."

For all of Geo.tv's latest news, updates and analysis of the T20 World Cup 2021, visit: https://www.geo.tv/t20-worldcup-2021/