Breakfast table mishap: Blind cricket skipper ‘mistakenly’ takes phenyl

Zeeshan Abbasi drank it from bottle supposed to contain water.

Sumera Khan/Aditi Phadnis December 09, 2012
Breakfast table mishap: Blind cricket skipper ‘mistakenly’ takes phenyl


The captain of Pakistan’s blind cricket team was rushed to a hospital in Bangalore, India, on Saturday after he drank a mild form of acid from a bottle which was supposed to contain water.

But he was swiftly treated and released from the hospital the same day.

Zeeshan Abbasi – who is leading the team in the ongoing Blind Twenty 20 series in Banglore – consumed the hazardous substance phenyl – a fluid widely used to clean and disinfect bathrooms and public spaces – from a bottle on the breakfast table. On Friday, Abbasi led the team to its fourth consecutive win in the tournament against India. Pakistan won by eight wickets.

A spokesman for the hospital, Aruna Ramesh, said Abbasi was medically examined and was out of danger. “As soon as we were informed about the incident that a Pakistani cricketer has been dispensed with some toxic material, we conducted his endoscopy. And, all doctors are of the view that the toxic substance did not harm him and he is quite normal now.”

The Indian media alleged that Abbasi consumed detergent water, not phenyl and accused the Pakistani media of blowing the issue out of proportion.

The team manager, however, did not agree. “The mineral water bottles were given to us everyday; the acid was in one of those bottles,” the team manager, Muhammad Bilal. “How can this be a mistake? How was it on the breakfast table?” he asked.

He said the matter was resolved and the hotel management had apologised. He added that the matter will not be pursued.

The apology, it is learnt, was issued immediately by the hotel and the Pakistan contingent accepted it.

Sultan Shah, Chairman of Pakistan Blind Cricket Council, said, “We have accepted the hotel’s apology and now all our focus is on the World Cup. If Zeeshan is up to it, he will play against Sri Lanka, tomorrow (Sunday), otherwise day after (Monday) against Nepal.”

The services of the hotel employee responsible for the incident have been terminated. The hotel cross-questioned the staff and found the house-keeping staff was cleaning the dining room and Abbasi consumed the acid accidentally.

Pakistan High Commission statement

According to the Pakistani mission in New Delhi, High Commissioner Salman Bashir wrote a letter to the Indian ministry of external affairs and spoke to the concerned authorities and sought a detailed investigation into the matter.

Bashir said the mistake of one man would not affect relations between Pakistan and India, nor affect the upcoming bilateral cricket series between the arch-rivals in late December. Chairman Pakistan Cricket Board, Zaka Ashraf also echoed the high commissioner’s statement to reporters in Lahore.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2012.


Switchblade | 11 years ago | Reply

@Faryal G:

All I said was the solution that he mistakenly consumed wasn't life-threatening as the Pakistani manager and media made it out to be.

The soap solution wasn't 'fed' to him. It was on the table located at the terrace(not the regular breakfast table) of the hotel. Nobody forced it on him or served him the solution. Can you honestly tell me that you would drink out of a random bottle placed on the terrace even if you are blind?

Faryal G | 11 years ago | Reply @Switchblade: Oh so you're saying that it was okay to feed him 'diluted soap solution'. Trust you Indians to try to cover up your conspiracies. Go home and consume some of that 'diluted soap solution' to yourself.
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