Irfan Pathan : The Ignored Hero..!!!
Well !! Hope we all remember the swing, all round capability and cute smile of a 19 year old good looking teenager Irfan Pathan who made entry into international cricket after taking a record 9 wickets in ODI at under 19 level. Soon, experts started comparing him with cricketing legends like Kapil Dev and Wasim Akram. He became the main bowler of Indian team at an early age and, devastating the opponent’s top order became his habit. Besides these, his power batting also started playing a vital role for team India. Hatrick in the first over of a test match, 83 against Sri Lanka in Nagpur, taking wicket of Yousuf Youhana (Now, Md Yousuf) frequently and many such moments gave us a hundred reasons to smile.
But during Greg Chappell’s era, he started losing his pace and form which led to his exclusion from the International team. He was struggling with himself but, he made a comeback in 2007 and performed exceptionally well in inaugural world T20 in which India emerged as the Champions under MS Dhoni and, Irfan was the Man of the final match.
But still, luck was not on his green side. Injuries and inconsistency kept him out of the team. Irfan Pathan again made a comeback in 2011 and didn’t disappoint his fans but, once again injury emerged as his only villain and he was out of the team.
But we know, a fighter is always a fighter. He fought injuries with a brave heart and last year, he bowled in first class after 2 years. During his short Ranji campaign he ended up with 14 wickets from 3 matches at an average 13.50 and contributed with bat scoring 139 runs in 4 innings at an average of 34.75 including 98 against UP.
Irfan was named Captain of Baroda for Domestic T20 tournament Syed Mustaq Trophy,he led the team from front to guide them to the final and, ended up as the highest wicket taker – 17 wickets at an average of 15.76 and also, strengthened lower order scoring 200 runs at an impressive average of 40 and, a too healthy strike rate of 152.67.
It was the time, many fans dreamt of watching the golden Pathan bowling in an international match. Fans were waiting for Irfan Pathan’s magic spell in world T20. But, it was surprise for world cricket when he was not selected in T20 squad after amazing Syed Mustaq campaign. Finally, surprise crossed the threshold when he was not even included in IPL playing XI of Rising Pune SuperGiants led by MS Dhoni.
Now, it is question – why is this happening with Irfan Pathan ? Is it bad luck , politics or, favoritism ? God knows.
Still, we can hope for the best – watching Irfan Pathan in upcoming IPL matches or, may be – playing in blue jersey.