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Irfan tank comes of age, goes to Steve

After Sunday at the Sydney Cricket Ground Irfan Pathan is no longer the kid around the camp. That changed with two deliveries in the last hour of play.

india Updated: Jan 05, 2004 07:09 IST

The days when Irfan Pathan would wake up to the call of the first aazaan, run through his namaaz and rush out to play tennis-ball cricket with younger brother Yousuf are not so far in the past. After all, this reserved son of the muezzin of the Jama Masjid in Vadodara is still only 19.

After Sunday at the Sydney Cricket Ground, however, Irfan is no longer the kid around the camp. That changed with two deliveries in the last hour of play.

He got one to swing away late from Steve Waugh, inducing him to nick it to fellow teenager Parthiv Patel.

And then he produced, arguably, the ball of the match. A wicked, in-swinging yorker that ripped through Gilchrist’s defence and clattered his stumps. Pathan jumped with joy, and to those watching, it suggested he’d just leapt into the big league.

Even before he made history by scalping 9-16 in the Asian u-19 Cup in Pakistan or was picked as a last-minute replacement for this tour in place of the injured Aavishkar Salvi, Irfan was at peace with himself: "Allah ki meherbaani se humare paas sab kuchh hai. Even as kids in the masjid, we never struggled for anything, cricket was a priority. If I went to my mother and said I needed Rs 700 for shoes, she gave it without protest."

"It's when you get past the limitation of thinking small and realising that if you want something badly enough, you'll do anything for it, that you grow," Irfan said.

On Sunday in Sydney, he grew up.

First Published: Jan 05, 2004 02:22 IST