Lahore: Abid Ali, Pakistan’s Test batsman, this week began his rehabilitation here at the National High Performance Centre in under the supervision of the Pakistan Cricket Board’s medical team. The 34-year-old was diagnosed with a case of Acute Coronary Syndrome after he complained of chest pain while batting in a Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match and had to undergo angioplasty.
“As cricket has a second innings, the Almighty has given me a second life,” Abid said on Wednesday as he commenced his rehabilitation at the NHPC. “I cannot thank the Almighty enough that I am sitting here today.”
Recalling the incident, Abid, who holds a record of being the only men’s cricketer to score century on his ODI and Test debuts, said: “I started to feel uneasiness and pain while batting. It worried me. When the pain intensified, I did some running and also consulted my batting partner Azhar Ali. Subsequently and with the permission of the umpires, I left the field. But as I reached the rope, I started to vomit and got dizzy. The team physio and doctor Asad [Central Punjab’s team doctor] ran towards me, took off my pads and rushed me to a hospital.”
“The doctors conducted ECG (electrocardiogram), which did not come out fine. They asked me how I was even walking and told me, ‘A normal person’s heart operates at 55 per cent, while mine was operating a 30 per cent. A valve of your heart is blocked and we will have to insert two stents. That left me in state of shock.”
The news of Abid’s sudden illness sent shockwaves in the cricket world. Abid’s teammates Hasan Ali, the Pakistan fast bower, recalled: “It was a very sad news for me and I was literally shocked. I have a very close relationship with Abid bhai. We played first-class together for three-four years from Islamabad region. I was very upset and praying for him.”
Cricket is my life. It is a priceless aspect of my life that I do not want to leave. I am trying to return to cricket as soon as I can I am hopeful that I will make my comeback [in cricket] in this new life that the Almighty has given me
The PCB’s medical team has put together a rehabilitation plan for Abid to help him in his return to the sport for which the right-hander is eager. “The PCB medical team has prepared a rehab plan for me. God willing, I will try to hold the bat as early as I can and start training.
“Cricket is my life. It is a priceless aspect of my life that I do not want to leave. I am trying to return to cricket as soon as I can I am hopeful that I will make my comeback [in cricket] in this new life that the Almighty has given me.”
To further improve and enhance the effectiveness of the healthcare at venues, PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja has asked the PCB medical team to set up defibrillators at the Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi stadia as well as the National High Performance Centre. Ramiz said : “Welcome back, Abid Ali. Many congratulations to you [on your recovery] as one’s life changes after such an experience. It is your courage that you still have a smile on your face. Such experiences are a learning curve.