Abid makes comeback after heart ailment...

Abid makes comeback after heart ailment

 Sports Desk daily-bangladesh.com

 Published: 03:28 PM, 23 April 2022  

Abid makes comeback after heart ailment

Abid makes comeback after heart ailment

Walking in to bat in his first competitive cricket match after four months, Pakistan batter Abid Ali felt a mixture of delight and disbelief.

Abid’s world had turned upside down when he was diagnosed for acute coronary syndrome which threatened to put his flourishing Test career on hold.

This week, he finally made his comeback. Not at international level but in a Ramzan T20 tournament in Faisalabad. Just being able to come back and bat has been some journey for the 34-year-old.

In December last year, Abid had returned home after a successful tour of Bangladesh where he played a key role in Pakistan’s 2-0 Test series triumph and was looking forward to the remainder of the domestic season for Central Punjab.

On December 21, in the Quaid Trophy match against Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at the UBL Sports Complex, Abid experienced pain around his chest and shoulder while batting on the last day.

He complained about the discomfort to his team’s physiotherapist Dr. Asad, who medicated him but it did not work.

Few minutes after returning to the crease, Abid told the umpires he wanted to retire and while walking off, he vomited before being taken to a private hospital in the city.

Following ECG tests at the hospital, the doctors concluded that Abid was going through a heart condition and that there was blockage in one of his arteries.

“Initially, I was shocked,”Abid told Dawn on Friday, recalling the moment when the doctors revealed to him their diagnosis after his angioplasty. “I couldn’t contemplate what was happening with me.”

At that point, Abid had convinced himself that after making it to the international level at 31, his career was already over after just 16 Tests and six One-day Internationals.

Had it not been for the people around him during that difficult time, which included 20 days of rehabilitation period at the hospital, he might have never hoped again.

“The doctors, the nurses and the hospital staff; all of them told me that I can play again,” said Abid. “All of them wanted me to be an example for people who go through such difficulties.”

Abid’s colleagues, former players, Pakistan Cricket Board officials and journalists, he said, reached out to him to extend support and motivate him.

“There were times when I thought my career was over, but I knew I needed a different mindset,” said the Lahore-born right-hander. “Whenever I felt negative, I readily switched myself to a positive mindset and kept faith in God.”

Three months into his recovery period Australia visited Pakistan for three Tests, as many ODIs and a solitary T20 game. It was the side’s first tour to the country after 24 years and Abid, who would have been an automatic selection for the Tests, had been waiting for it.

“I did feel sad not being a part of the team in the Australia Tests,” he said. “I think it was God’s will and I’ve no complaints. I’m happy for my team-mates who made their dream of playing at home in such an important series come true.”

On the day Pakistan’s first Test against Australia kicked off, Abid started training in the nets, being told my doctors that he will be able to return to full activity in the next three months.

“The staff at the National High-Performance Center, the coaches and the doctors backed me fully during that time and assured me a comeback wasn’t far away,” he said.

Turning out for Faisalabad Knights in the Saga Premier League on Wednesday, Abid celebrated his comeback with shots all around the ground as he scored a 32-ball 50. He pulled and cut on the back foot, drove and flicked on the front and danced down the wicket to clear the boundary.

The maximum came after a length delivery by Pakistan discard Mohammad Talha smashed into his helmet. Abid took the blow and carried on. That’s exactly what he’s done in the last four months.

“My happiness and excitement was more than what a kid feels when he is allowed to go outside to play,” said the veteran of 130 first class matches.

What the future holds for Abid is something he isn’t contemplating just yet. After all that he has gone through, he understands life is more than just cricket and the fame that comes with it.

“I can only try my best, the rest is in God’s hands,” he said. “I feel life is all about being a nice person, being closer to God, helping people who need you and forgiving the ones you’re not happy with.”