Hyderabad: Veteran all-rounder and one half of the Pathan brothers, Irfan Pathan, announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Saturday.
A left-handed seamer and a handy batsman down the order, Irfan Pathan made his international debut in 2003. His abilities to swing the ball in any condition made him a lethal bowler. He soon rose to the occasion where he was compared with the likes of the great Kapil Dev as the next big all-rounder.
In a combined 173 appearances for India across formats, he scored 2,821 runs and picked 301 wickets. His stats: 29 tests – 100 wickets and 1,105 runs; 120 ODIs – 173 wickets and 1,544 runs; 24 T20Is – 28 wickets and 172 runs.
Just when India thought that it had got its much-awaited all-rounder, a storm of injury worries hit Pathan and he slowly lost his place in the team.
But whenever he was a part of the team, he made sure his contributions counted and his heroics helped India win major matches on several occasions.
He was also the second Indian bowler after Harbhajan Singh to pick a Test hat-trick when he dismissed Salman Butt, Mohammed Yousuf and Younis Khan on consecutive deliveries in the first over of the Karachi Test against Pakistan in 2006. He still holds the record for taking a hat-trick in the first over of a Test match.
His only hundred came against Pakistan at Bengaluru in 2007 where he made a statement with his batting abilities. Pathan played a crucial role in the 2007 T20 World Cup. He was adjudged the Man of the Match in the final against Pakistan when he picked 3 wickets for 16 runs in his spell of 4 overs.
Pathan last played an international game for India in 2012 when he made a surprise comeback to the side. He took a 5-wicket haul, making his comeback more memorable.
Although he couldn’t play for India anymore, he kept playing domestic cricket for his home town Baroda and recently joined the Jammu & Kashmir side as a player and a mentor. He last played a match back in February 2019.
Irfan Pathan also began his stint as a commentator two years ago and has been equally effective behind the mic.
Following his announcement, his teammates and former cricketers poured in well wishes for the all-rounder.
Here’s what they have to say.
So many match winning spells, numerous match winning innings, one of the best all arounders I have played with. You are a true champion @IrfanPathan my friend. Good luck for your second innings. Cheers #irfanpathan pic.twitter.com/J5GyGhhQ6g
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) January 4, 2020
Congratulations @IrfanPathan on an excellent career. So many landmarks, so many highlights. Remember the wide eyed young man at the breakfast table in Australia growing to play a key role in so many memorable moments for India. Tab gend bolti thi ab zubaan bolegi! Mubarak.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 4, 2020
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) January 4, 2020
Was such a joy to see #IrfanPathan evolve from a aspiring 17yr old cricketer when I first saw him into a mature International Cricketer. You can be very proud of what u have achieved not only as a cricketer but also in mentoring young cricketers from J&K. A very happy 2nd innings pic.twitter.com/T63yF3G7z7
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) January 4, 2020