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Former Pakistani fast bowler Mohammad Irfan says he ended Gautam Gambhir's white-ball career

07 Oct 2019, 21:10 IST

Gautam Gambhir last played a T20I for India in 2012
Gautam Gambhir last played a T20I for India in 2012

What's the story?

Former Pakistani left-arm fast bower Mohammad Irfan has claimed that he "ended" Indian opener Gautam Gambhir's limited-overs career. According to Irfan, the 2011 World Cup winner was afraid of facing him when Pakistan had toured India in 2012-13.

The background

Gautam Gambhir's career had reached its peak between 2007-11. He became an integral part of the Indian team and his opening partnership with Virender Sehwag was billed by many as one of the greatest in cricket history. However, he could not carry his form to 2012 and was ultimately left out from the T20I team and the ODI team soon after.

The Delhi player's last T20I appearance came against Pakistan in December 2012, while his ODI career ended the next month after a series of failures against England.

The heart of the matter

During his interview with Samaa TV, Mohammad Irfan stated -

"Gautam Gambhir was afraid of me. I think his career ended because of me. He didn't return to the team after that. He didn't like to face me in match or when both teams had nets, I always felt he avoided eye to eye contact with me. I remember I got out him three times in the 2012 limited over series and he was unnerved against me."

He added that the entire Indian team was uncomfortable against him and that they could not spot deliveries because of his height -- 7-foot-1 -- and pace. Irfan recalled that even current Indian skipper Virat Kohli had trouble reading his bowling.

Despite the claims, though, fact is that the left-hander was struggling with form in the matches played prior to that as well. He did not have much success in the ODI series against England either.

Ultimately, the team management decided to try out Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan as openers in the 2013 Champions Trophy. The solid performances of the two ensured that Gautam would never comes back to the team.

What's next?

Gautam Gambhir is yet to respond to Irfan's statement. However, Indian cricket fans have called out the Pakistani fast bowler for his claim.

Also see – World Test Championship Schedule

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