Irfan Pathan admits Indian cricket team comeback is ‘on thin ice’
Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan has admitted time is running out fast for him to make a comeback into the national cricket team. Irfan, who will turn 33, last played for India in a Twenty20 International against Sri Lanka at Colombo in October 2012.
Irfan, who made his Test debut against Australia at the Adelaide Oval in 2002-03, last played a Test in 2008 against South Africa.
Currently captaining Baroda in the Ranji Trophy, Irfan said, “I started early this season and I’m doing everything that I could to hopefully achieve my dream in the future. This season is going to be very, very crucial. I know that I’m standing on thin ice,” said Irfan, admitting the challenges that he is facing in an interview with ESPNCricinfo.
Irfan’s plight is in direct contrast with another Indian cricket team pacer Ashish Nehra, who has been part of the Indian Twenty20 side since 2016. Nehra, who is 38, will retire from international cricket during the first Twenty20 International against New Zealand in New Delhi on November 1.
Injuries struck at wrong time
According to the report, Irfan brushed aside the notion that he would get injured when it was time for First-Class cricket, and eventually turn up fit whenever it was the time for auctions in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Last IPL auction was the only instance when Irfan did not find any takers — though he did play a game for the Gujarat Lions as a late addition.
Irfan revealed about a time when he was playing more and more cricket in order to remain in national reckoning — which eventually resulted in injury that hampered his career.
He said, “I was playing a Champions League game, the semi-final. We lost the game. The same night we took a flight [back to India]. A couple of days in between and I played a three-day game against England. Third day, the last day, I took a flight to Baroda. From the next day onwards, I played a Ranji Trophy game against Karnataka. I scored a hundred in that game, bowled more than 20 overs in an innings, so I played about nine days continuously.”
Baroda have made a forgettable start this season with a defeat to Madhya Pradesh and a drawn game against Andhra Pradesh.
Irfan has been blowing hot and cold too, starting off with a fine 88-run knock against MP in a game wherein he added 188 with his brother Yusuf Pathan, but failing in against Andhra with scores of 0 and 4.