Pakistan batsman, and century maker in the Champions Trophy final, Fakhar Zaman, revealed that he almost didn’t play in the showpiece game against India after feeling ill the day before the game.
Opening batsman Zaman struck 114 off 106 balls to receive the man of the match award as Pakistan thumped their rivals to claim their first Champions Trophy title.
However, the 27-year-old left-handed batsman, who did not play in Pakistan’s loss against India in their first game of the tournament, said it was medication from the team physio that got him ready for the big match on Sunday.
Zaman told ESPNcricinfo: “When we came for practise on Saturday I wasn’t feeling good. 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.
“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.'”
Zaman, who was only playing in his fourth ODI after making his debut during the tournament, admitted he had luck during his knock and that he had some nerves early in his innings.
And those nerves almost made him pay as he prodded at a Jasprit Bumrah delivery that was caught by MS Dhoni behind the stumps only for Zaman to be called back as the bowler had overstepped.
It was the lucky break that Zaman needed and from there he played freely and put the Indian bowlers to the sword.
He continued: “I was feeling very lucky. It worked really well for me. Sometimes you get dropped or survive because of a no-ball but you don’t go on and score too many runs.
“At the start they were bowling very well. So I tried to play ball-to-ball. But when I saw there was no swing or movement off the wicket, I started to play my shots.”