Yusuf Pathan calls it a day

Indian Yusuf Pathan gets a standing ovation during the 5th and final One Day International (ODI) between India and South Africa at Super Sports Park in Centurion on January 23, 2011.   | Photo Credit: AFP

He was a force of nature when he waded into an attack. ‘Hurricane Yusuf’ decimated bowlers with strokes of thunder.

In his retirement from the game, announced on Friday, cricket has lost one of its most devastating strikers.

Yusuf Pathan’s blitzkriegs swung games, shut opposition out. Influential, he was part of three IPL winning teams, represented Rajasthan Royals, Kolkata Knight Riders, and Sunrisers Hyderabad.

And Yusuf was in Indian teams that triumphed in the World Twenty20 in South Africa, 2007, and the ODI World Cup of 2011, in the sub-continent.

A man for the big occasion he certainly was. The sort of batsman, who, in his pomp, would put fear in a bowler.

Not many batsmen cleared the ropes with the authority that this man from Baroda did. The explosive Yusuf did so by a mile.

Endearing soft side

He was as brutal with the willow as they come. Yet, there was an endearing soft side to the 38-year-old Yusuf, Irfan Pathan’s elder brother.

He was a man of peace, loved animals and birds. In fact, he kept several of them in a private place of his own in Vadodara.

Yusuf Pathan calls it a day

Yusuf has invariably been associated with the IPL. However, some of his bravest knocks have come in the Indian colours.

Ahead of India’s tour of South Africa in 2010, some elements spread the word that Yusuf was not comfortable against short-pitched bowling.

And in the Cape Town ODI, the South African quicks peppered Yusuf with short-pitched balls. The courageous Yusuf took blows on his body, hooked and pulled during his 59 but did not give his wicket away to a lifter from a fast bowler.

And he followed this with a pulsating 105 in the Centurion ODI. Yusuf could gun down attacks away from the sub-continent as well.

Vital contributions

He made 810 runs and took 33 wickets for India in 57 ODIs. And there were some vital contributions during his 22 T20Is for India.

Of course, he flirted with danger at the crease and there lay his charm. In full flight Yusuf was a thing of beauty. In the mayhem he caused, there was a symphony.

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Printable version | May 8, 2021 10:58:10 AM |

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