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Why cricket for Irfan and Yusuf Pathan is becoming difficult

Irfan Pathan has been axed from the Baroda squad as skipper after a poor performance in the Ranji Trophy while Yusuf Pathan will miss the next game against Tripura as he is suffering from Typhoid.

cricket Updated: Nov 01, 2017 14:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Irfan Pathan,Yusuf Pathan,Indian national cricket team
Irfan Pathan, who has admitted that his chances of a comeback to the national team are on ‘thin ice’, has been axed as the skipper of the Baroda team in the Ranji Trophy while Yusuf Pathan will miss the match against Tripura due to Typhoid.(AFP)

Irfan Pathan, who recently acknowledged that he stands on ‘thin ice’ as far as return to international cricket is concerned, suffered a major setback when Baroda dropped him from the upcoming match in the Ranji Trophy 2017-18. Interestingly, Irfan was named Baroda captain for this season.

On the other hand, Irfan’s brother Yusuf, who scored twin centuries against Madhya Pradesh earlier this season, has opted out of the contest against Tripura as he is recovering from Typhoid.

Irfan was axed after ordinary showings in the Ranji Trophy, despite striking a fine 80 and adding 188 with Yusuf who made 111 against Madhya Pradesh. In the second innings, while Yusuf made a fine 136, Irfan’s contribution was just 4.

According to media reports, the Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) secretary in-charge said, “It’s the selectors’ decision. They decided to rebuild the team.”

Baroda have played two games so far, losing to Madhya Pradesh by 8 wickets and drawing against Andhra. In the points table for Group C, Baroda are languishing at the bottom with one point.

Both Irfan and Yusuf had forgettable outings against Andhra. While Irfan was dismissed for 0 and 4, Yusuf failed to build up on his start, managing 1 and 0.

Once considered as the future of Indian cricket team, it’s been more than five years since both Irfan and Yusuf represented India across formats.

“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,” Irfan told ESPNCricinfo a few days ago.

BCA officials are reportedly unhappy with team’s performance as well as Irfan’s leadership. An official said, “The decision to drop him from the captaincy and team was taken two days ago.”

“We are going to play in a crucial match and we need experienced players. Hooda is a young player so he needs backing of a senior like Irfan. Even if the selectors decided to drop Irfan, he should have been explained about the situation,” said a BCA official.

First Published: Oct 29, 2017 11:04 IST