Grateful for second lease of life after being diagnosed with acute coronary syndrome last month, Pakistan batter Abid Ali is eager to make a comeback to cricket as he has begun rehabilitation at the National High Performance Centre.
The 34-year-old was diagnosed with Acute Coronary Syndrome after he complained of chest pain while batting in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. The team doctor had rushed him to a local hospital where he underwent angioplasty.
“As cricket has a second innings, the Almighty has given me a second life,” Abid told PCB Digital.
“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,” he recalled.
“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.” As he was on his way to the hospital, Abid was unaware of what was unfolding. He had taken the pain that he felt in his chest as a usual muscular one, but it was after the doctors put him under tests that the gravity of the situation unveiled.
“I was not aware that I was having a heart issue,” he said.
“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,” said Abid.
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.
“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.
“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,” Raja said.
“My message to him is to take things slow, take his time and don’t compromise on his health. My well-wishes are with you.
“This situation can befall on any cricketer. I have asked our doctors to install defibrillators at our stadiums so that they are equipped and ready to use survival kits, should a situation arise,” he added.