Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Zimbabwe’s experienced all-rounder Sikandar Raza has been an outstanding performer for his team on both fronts this year. The right-handed batsman has aggregated 598 runs at 42.71 with strike rates of 154.52 in T20Is this year. Similarly, he has bagged 19 wickets with his mystery off-breaks this year.

However, very few people know about the aggressive Pakistan-born Zimbabwean cricketer’s return to the field after fighting a very deadly disease.

During the Zimbabwe-Afghanistan series last year, star all-rounder Raza suffered severe pain in his right arm, due to which he was unable to sleep at night. To get rid of this pain, he even used painkiller but did not get any relief. Following his return to home, while an ultrasound came out nothing, an MRI found a substance in his bone marrow.

The doctors said that the substance could weaken the bones on Sikandar’s shoulders. After the diagnosis, he was treated. Earlier, Sikandar had struggled with bone marrow, which at one time doctors believed that it could become cancer. During treatment, his tumor was removed, after which it took him about a few weeks to recover.  Then the fighting cricketer with an indomitable spirit returned to cricket once again.

Sikandar opined that despite recovering from bone marrow, he goes through some procedures to make sure he is away from the infection.

Sikandar had to change his action due to surgery and he believes it is working more than the previous action.

“Post-surgery, I couldn’t bowl with the old action and I lost a little bit of strength due to multiple shoulder injuries. Luckily I was with Sunil Narine in CPL and I watched him closely. With old action, batters could see my variations, but when I got to this new action with Sunil’s help, I personally felt it is a bit difficult for the batters to read,” said Sikandar.

“I stay focused on delivering them at the right place and if I consistently do, I will be a bit more effective. My economy has been very low with this action and in white-ball cricket, it is essential. It’s a good sign for me,” the optimistic cricketer added.