Sport

Irfan calls time on his career

Irfan Pathan last played for India in October 2012   | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak

Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan called time on his 15-year career at the Star Sports studio, here on Saturday.

One of India’s most prominent swing bowlers, Irfan, however, may play in overseas franchise-based leagues.

On his mind

Irfan said the thought of hanging up his boots had crossed his mind after a word with the National selectors a few years ago.

“In 2016, I had a good outing in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. I spoke to the selectors after that, but got the feeling they were not too happy. I knew that was it. There was no way I could return to the National team," he said.

However, Irfan continued to play Ranji Trophy for Baroda, and for Jammu and Kashmir as player-cum-mentor till the last season.

“In domestic cricket, too, I have been part of Jammu and Kashmir cricket and after last season, I thought ‘what’s the motivation to play any more’?” Irfan said.

“I will keep contributing to Indian cricket, but it is always better if someone else takes my place in domestic cricket. There are a lot of other things in store for me,” the left-arm pacer, who will continue as J&K mentor said.

Irfan featured in 29 Tests, 120 ODIs and 24 T20Is. He last donned India colours in 2012, but indifferent form and injury issues forced him out of National reckoning.

Fans of Indian cricket will always remember Irfan’s heroics during India’s tours of Australia and Pakistan in 2003-04, where he impressed the likes of Wasim Akram. In his debut series, he emerged the highest wicket-taker against Australia and Zimbabwe in the ODI tri-series.

The hat-trick

His hat-trick in the first over of the Karachi Test of 2006 established him as one of the leading swing bowlers of his time. He was also part of the Indian team that won the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in 2007 taking three wickets in the final against Pakistan.

“It has been a great journey. I played cricket with all my heart and soul. I am really proud of it and when I look back, I feel happy with my achievements. It’s been a great career,” the pacer said.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 7:31:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/irfan-pathan-retires-from-all-forms-of-cricket/article30478668.ece

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