Irfan Pathan, veteran Indian swing bowler, announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Saturday. Once hailed as a next big thing in Indian Cricket represented India in over 170 international matches in his 16-year career. The swing bowler from Baroda took over 300 wickets in those fixtures.
He last represented India in the last league-stage encounter against South Africa in the 2012 ICC T20 World Cup after which he was never was never considered for an international call up. Though the swing bowler started his career with a lot of promise. In his debut match at Adelaide on India’s tour of Australia, he shone brilliantly as India won their first ever test Australian soil after a long time under the leadership of Ganguly.
In the subsequent series, he remained in the mix. And later, when Dravid took over captaincy from Ganguly after controversies with Greg Chappell, he also made runs with the bat as he was often promoted at the top of the order.
Irfan Pathan hailed both the captains for their valuable contribution in his career and Indian cricket also. He said, “I have enjoyed playing under all the captains. Sourav Ganguly was outstanding, he was very special. Everyone appreciated his captaincy and no fan will disagree that he managed the team well even in the toughest of times. He gave Indian cricket a direction and now we are benefiting from that.
But I guess Rahul Dravid was the one who utilised me the best. Not only my bowling, but my batting performances also improved under him. My batting average improved immensely and my average as a No. 3 batsman was 32. After Dravid, I never got a chance to bat up the order,” in an interview to The Hindu.
Irfan was also a member the team that faced the controversial ‘Monkeygate’ Saga and he prised legendry spinner and then captain Anil Kumble for handling that situation very well as it threatened to end career of some players.
He said, “And I must admit Anil Kumble, too, was a fantastic captain. He handled the ‘Monkeygate’ scandal in 2008 very well. I don’t think many would have been able to handle it as well. We knew that pressure was mounting, but he took everyone along and ensured that we won the Test in Perth. It’s commendable.”
The Baroda based swing bowler will hang up his boots with a lot of satisfaction as he was part of two world-cup winning teams. Had he not lost his swing gradually after injuries he would have ended as one of the best swing bowlers ever produced by India.