‘I can’t play tomorrow,’ Fakhar told physio ahead of the big final

‘I can't play tomorrow,’ Fakhar told physio ahead of the big final
Fakhar Zaman celebrates after Pakistan's big win against Ind.a (PHOTO: AFP)

Pakistan’s hero with the bat in the big final against India, Fakhar Zaman nearly pulled out of the game due to feeling unwell on Saturday.

The Man of the Match of the final of Champions Trophy vomited several times a day before the crunch match. He went to training, played 5 to 10 balls in nets and then reported the coach that he is not feeling well and he cannot practice.

“When we came for practise I wasn’t feeling good,” Fakhar told ESPNcricinfo. “I hit five or 10 balls and said to the coach, ‘I don’t want to practise today as I’m not feeling well.’

“I went back to the dressing room and told the masseur and physio that I didn’t feel good and couldn’t work,” he added.

It was probably a combination of reaction of something that he had eaten and the anxiety that he was feeling before one of the biggest matches of his entire career.

Fakhar lost the hope to play against India, but, Pakistan’s physio took, Shane Hayes, took care of the aggressive opening batsman, gave him some pills that got him fit till the morning.

“We went back to the hotel and they treated me very well. Our physio, Shane Hayes, was with me the whole night. I said to him, ‘I can’t play tomorrow,’ but he gave me protein and glucose tablets and said ‘You will play tomorrow.”

“I woke in the morning feeling good. I sent him a message at 7am saying, ‘Thanks, Shane. I’m feeling good,’” he told.

When Fakhar came out to bat, he had a nervous start, survived a dismissal on a no-ball off Jasprit Bumrah when he was just on 3 run.

Fakhar had to become the proud of Pakistan on that day in front of a jam-packed Oval and billions of viewers on television and he did.

He struck a blistering century that took Pakistan to a mammoth total of 338 runs, which earned his first Man of the Match award of his career.

Before the final, Fakhar had also scored to back-to-back half centuries against Sri Lanka and England.