After 15 years in the blue jersey, swing bowler Irfan Pathan will finally call time on his illustrious career as a bowler for India. The 35-year old was regarded as one of India’s most prominent swing and seam bowlers, and he would often trouble opposing batsmen. However, it is worth noting that this may not be the last we see of Irfan Pathan, as he has an option to be available for franchise-based leagues overseas.
After his stint with the national team, Pathan turned his attention to the Ranji Trophy and played for his home side Baroda until last season. While in the Ranji Trophy, he took on the role of player/mentor for Jammu and Kashmir, but he will be associated with the team solely as a mentor.
Speaking about what lies in his future, Irfan Pathan said, “I will keep contributing to Indian cricket, but it is always better if someone else takes my place in domestic cricket. There are lot of other things in store for me and I will keep focusing on them,”.
Back in his heyday, Pathan was one of India’s front-line fast-bowling all-rounders, and played 29 Tests, 120 ODIs and 24 Twenty20 Internationals for the national team. However, 2012 would be the last time he was seen in the familiar blue jersey, as his form wavered and he was plagued by injury issues.
Despite this, his adoring fans will always remember him for his performance during India’s tours of Australia and Pakistan in 2004. In fact, he even caught the eye of former Pakistan bowler Wasim Akram. In his debut series, the left-arm stamped his intentions by being the highest wicket-taker against Australia and Zimbabwe in the ODIs. In the process, he also sent the likes of Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden packing, on a few occasions.
In 2006, Irfan Pathan snatched a hat-trick in the first over in Karachi and at that point, it was clear that he was one of the best swing bowlers of his time. Another laurel under his belt was the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in 2007 under MS Dhoni. Reminiscing his long and successful career, Pathan mused that he always played with passion and was proud of how his career played out.