Hanif Mohammad successfully undergoes cancer surgery in London

Hanif Mohammad is now set to spend one week in hospital for observation
NOTTINGHAM: Hanif Mohammad, first of the greats of Pakistan batting and arguably the best of his era, was successfully operated for liver cancer at London Bridge Hospital on Wednesday evening. Hanif is now stable and out of danger, according to his surgeon Robert Hutchins.
Hanif, a veteran of 55 Test matches, was diagnosed four weeks back only by chance when he went to a hospital in Karachi complaining of itching on top of his stomach. Dr Nihal Masood then discovered what was wrong with the ‘Little Master’ and advised him to have immediate attention to get the tumour in his right liver lobe removed.
Only days later Hanif, 78, flew over to London for a second opinion which was later confirmed. Only a few days ago I went to see Hanif immediately after arriving in London to cover the Ashes. At his daughter’s home in Wembley, he looked cheerful despite what he was going to go through in the next few days — an operation to remove the affected part.
“I am feeling fine. The surgeon has told me that it is just the start and it has not spread and that I have got to get it out,” Hanif stated.
While talking to me he looked as much confident about going through the operation as he was when facing the fastest bowlers of his time.
“I would have loved to watch the Lord’s Ashes Test but it seems that I will not be able to because I am told that I will have to stay in ICU and hospital for a week, and then will have to rest for a month,” Hanif told me.
I was informed by Hanif’s youngest son Shahzeb Mohammad that the surgeon removed his right liver lobe and the gall bladder as well to make sure that the problem was fully addressed.
The legendary batsman still holds the record of playing the longest innings in Test cricket when he scored 337 in 970 minutes against the West Indies at Bridgetown, Barbados in 1957-58 to draw the six-day Test after Pakistan were asked to follow on as they were a massive 473 runs behind.
And only next season in Pakistan he made a mammoth 499 before getting run out at KPI ground in Karachi against Bahawalpur in the Quaid-i-Azam Trophy to break Sir Don Bradman’s first-class cricket world record of 452. After 34 years, Hanif’s proud feat was surpassed by Brian Lara when he made 501 against Durham in county cricket.
In 1967 as Pakistan captain he made a brilliant unbeaten 187 against England in the Lord’s Test. Hanif, the iconic figure of Pakistan cricket, is also considered the inventor of reverse sweep and could bowl with both arms with equal dexterity.
At a tough time like this he needs the support and the prayers of the people of his country.
“Please ask the people in Pakistan to pray for me,” Hanif had said before going for the surgery.

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