Irrfan Pathan, who was part of Preity Zinta’s Kings XI Punjab, admits that a few of his colleagues and he were asked to drop out of the show, Khatron Ke Khiladi Season Three with Priyanka Chopra, on Colors.
“There is a clause that prohibits us from risking our lives. We were thrilled about doing something different off the field, but then we are bound by the BCCI rules,” he adds.Would he be open to another TV show then? "No way!" he exclaims. "I don’t want to get into a TV show at all. Parthiv Patel and I were seen on Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashma recently but we don’t plan to become daily soap actors. It was just a passing shot."
Bring up Lalit Modi’s exit from Indian Premier League and Pathan says, “The tournament has become extremely popular, even with countries like China and America. You never know, you might find their teams in the T20 World Cup and eventually in mainstream cricket too. IPL 4 will happen, but from what we’ve heard, there will be a new set of rules and two new teams in place.”
Pathan endorses a Reebok deodorant and has visited the sets of the Sony show Indian Idol 5 to promote it, the way he did for a special pair of exercise shoes for women back in December on another Sony TV reality show.
World Cup Ahead
“We are on the field for six-seven hours a day. Deodorants help keep one fresh. It’s a must for hygiene,” Pathan adds. The all-rounder hasn’t travelled with the team for the recent tournaments. “It’s up to the selectors to send whoever they feel is deserving. I’m focusing on my game and want to be in my best form for the World Cup next year,” he asserts.
Sportsmen are often under the scanner for spending more time on endorsement assignments than net practice. He argues that no one from Team India sacrifices the game for money and visibility.
“I only lend my name to products that suit my personality. Ads don’t take anything away from the sport. Most of us invest 200 days a year playing and travelling. For the remaining days, we’re allowed to socialise and lead a regular lifestyle,” adds Pathan.
He points out that a cricketer’s shelf life is limited to 18 years on an average. So, what does he plan to do after his 18 years are up? Pathan says, “I can’t imagine retirement but you never know, you might still find me on the ground, coaching younger cricketers to take over the baton of Team India.”