Irfan Pathan, one of the cult heroes of Indian cricket, brought down curtains to the unfulfilled dream that was his career, in a heartfelt announcement on Saturday. The former Indian pace-bowling spearhead shit into the reckoning when he claimed a nine-wicket haul in a U-19 game against Bangladesh back in 2002. Pathan was fast-tracked into the Indian team for the 2003-04 tour of Australia where he bamboozled the likes of Adam Gilchrist, Steve Waugh, and Matthew Hayden.
And, such was his persistence and relentlessness that Irfan proceeded to become the spearhead of the bowling unit within the first few years of his International debut. But, then a combination of issues with his bowling action, the insistence of the team-management to make an all-rounder out of him, his dwindling form followed by the lack of support by the team-management resulted in Irfan playing his last international match for the country at the age of 28.
Irfan Pathan, however, has no complaints about how his career planned out over the years. But, the enigmatic all-rounder does have a regret that his career ended prematurely.
“People start their career when they are 27-28 and then go on to play till 35. When I was 27, I had taken 301 international wickets, so that was it. That is the only regret I have. I wish I would have played more and could have taken that tally to 500-600 wickets and scored more runs, but it did not happen.
A 27-year-old Irfan Pathan, at the peak of his career, should have got more opportunities but it did not happen for whatever reasons. No complaints but looking back, there is regret.” Irfan said as quoted by DNA.
Irfan Pathan was ignored by selectors post in exploits in 2016 SMAT
When one is scoring runs in domestic cricket and still you are getting ignored by the national selectors, a sense of realization kicks that the individual no longer needed at the International level, and Irfan had that realization when he was ignored by the selectors post his exploits in the 2016 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
“I knew after 2016 that I am not going to make a comeback when I was the highest run-scorer in Mushtaq Ali trophy. I was the best all-rounder and when I spoke to selectors, they were not very happy with my bowling.
Pathan added, “When you know they are not happy (things don’t happen). But after 2016-17, I kept pushing myself. Some league offers came my way and I am glad I took it. It was J and K cricket, I was playing and mentoring and I am glad I did this for them.”
One of the most memorable moments of Irfan Pathan’s career has got to be the hat-trick that he claimed against Pakistan in Karachi, 2006. However, that moment isn’t that special for Irfan as India went on to lose the Test match and the series.
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