Calcutta: Six-year-old Ayaan Mohammed, younger son of Shoaib and grandson of Hanif, has lost his battle with cancer.
Ayaan, who’d been admitted to Karachi’s Aga Khan Hospital for around a month, passed away on Wednesday. He had an “inoperable” tumour in the brain.
“The family has been left devastated... Brother Shoaib, who was with Ayaan throughout his hospitalisation, has taken it very badly... So has Dad,” Hanif’s younger son Shahzeb, who is London-based, told The Telegraph on Friday.
Hanif and other members of the family, who’re currently in the UK, were to leave for Karachi some hours after Shahzeb spoke to this newspaper.
“Dad had been looking forward to returning home... Was looking forward to seeing his favourite grandchild... But the Lord willed otherwise... Dad will be leaving London with a broken heart,” Shahzeb said.
The nature and intensity of Ayaan’s cancer (diffuse pontine giloma) wasn’t, incidentally, conveyed to Hanif as he’s himself just recovered from cancer-related surgery.
Besides, the 78-year-old Hanif is into “adjuvant chemotherapy,” aimed at preventing a recurrence, and has completed the first two cycles at the London Oncology Clinic.
The rest would be gone through in Karachi.
It’s with good reason, then, that the family is now even more concerned about the health of Hanif (a former Pakistan captain and Asia's first triple centurion in Test cricket).
If the physical pain wasn’t bad enough, Hanif has suffered a massive emotional blow as well.
Hanif’s father, Ismail Shaikh, had also succumbed to cancer after migrating from India.
Footnote: Shoaib (52), who played 45 Tests and 63 ODIs, has a best of 203 not out in the Lahore Test against India in 1989-90. Elder son Shehzar plays at the first-class level.