Zubin Surkari still shudders at the mention of the two-year period from 2005 to 2007. Once considered one of the fittest members of the Canada team, he struggled to stand on his own feet at that time.
Suffering from an un-diagnosed auto-immune system disease (where your immune system attacks your own body), Surkari fought a life and death battle for those two years. But to the credit of this middle order batsman, he not only made a comeback to the national squad, he has also now become a vital cog in the line up. Till the time he was at the crease against Pakistan, the team was hopeful of pulling off a win.
While the 31-year-old promises to do everything in his capacity to prove that Canada is a far better side than what results in this competition suggest, he admits that for him playing in this edition was a “high” in itself. “In 2007, I was just hoping to stay alive.”
Cardiologist Akshay Bagai, brother of Canada skipper Ashish, played an important role in Surkari’s recovery. “My treatment included high dosages of steroids and chemotherapy," he said, who first suffered from inflammation of all the joints. The inflammation still hurts in cold and Surkari admits he is still 90-95 per cent fit. But the lure of the World Cup made him work a lot harder.