On the second day of the Kolkata Test against New Zealand, Aira, the 14-month-old daughter of Shami began to suffer from high fever. And within half-an-hour she had to be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a city hospital as she was struggling to breathe properly.
Shami was informed on the second day (October 1), after the end of the play. And for the next 2 days it was really tremendous mental stress for the bowler. Shami took 6 wickets in the match, 3 each in first and second innings. India won by 178 runs with that claimed the series 2-0 with a game remaining and also climed to the top of ICC Rankings, displacing Pakistan.
Still he did not put his teammates falling in any kind of embarrassment. Rather everybody at the Eden Gardens watched Shami's brilliant bowling where he was being able to reverse swing with immaculate precision.
Every day after the end of the match, Shami rushed to hospital to see his daughter and return to the team hotel in the night.
When asked about his mental stress, Shami, after India won the Test at Eden Gardens on the 4th day (October 3), Shami said, "My captain had given me huge inspiration every night after I returned from the hospital. So, I am extremely thankful to him and also thankful to the mates who also gave me belief that my daughter must get cured by the time Test ends."
The fast bowler also received huge appreciation from other cricketers also. Sanjay Manjarekar, who was doing TV commentary for the Test, said, "We are delighted to have watched Shami for his excellent bowling in spite of the fact that he was going through hard times due to his daughter’s illness." However, his daughter has recovered and returned home on Monday (October 3), the day Test ended.
Incidentally, the wives of Indian cricketers who were present in Kolkata to see the Test match seemed to be in a festive mood after India won it on the 4th day. The cricketers are staying in Kolkata on Tuesday also and a section of them will reportedly roam around the city to see Durga Puja festival that has already begun.