What’s the story?
The Pathans seem to be living contrasting lives. A day after Irfan Pathan was ignored in the 2017 IPL auctions, his half-brother Yusuf Pathan was dropped from the Baroda side for the Vijay Hazare Trophy 2017. Irfan Pathan has been made captain.
“Yusuf was dropped as he has not been performing well for quite some time now. He couldn't score much runs in the Ranji Trophy matches this season and even in T20 matches, he scored only one half-century. We decided to give chance to youngsters who have been performing well”, a BCA official told The Times of India
In case you didn’t know…
Irfan, who has played for multiple IPL teams since the tournament’s first edition in 2008, was snubbed in the IPL 2017 auctions, despite having a base price of Rs. 50 Lakh. Yusuf Pathan, on the other hand, was retained by the Kolkata Knight Riders, a side he has been playing for since 2011. Recently, Yusuf Pathan’s participation in the Hong Kong T20 Blitz was brought to an abrupt stop, prior to even the start of the tournament, after the BCCI took a U-turn about giving the 34-year old an NOC (No Objection Certificate) for the same.
The heart of the matter
Having had an indifferent last year with injuries and poor form limiting his game time, Irfan Pathan managed to play just four matches for the Rising Pune Supergiant in IPL 2016. The IPL snub saw him post a heartfelt message to his fans, thanking them for their unflinching support throughout Pathan’s thick and thin.
His focus will now totally shift on domestic cricket, where he will have Deepak Hooda as deputy while leading the Baroda side. He showed signs of his former self by picking up five wickets from four games in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy, bowling with an economy of 6.28.
Yusuf Pathan, on the other hand, had a poor 2016-17 Ranji season, managing just 76 runs and picking six wickets. Apart from Yusuf, Munaf Patel, another World Cup winner,who was picked up by the Gujarat Lions for the 2017 IPL, has been shown the door by the Baroda team.
Baroda start their campaign with the first game against Railways on 25th February, with the finals of the tournament scheduled on the 18th of March. For Yusuf Pathan, the next target will be performing well for the Kolkata Knight Riders, who play their first match against Gujarat Lions on 7th April.
Being the captain of the Baroda team for Ranji Trophy as well as the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament, Pathan’s experience as a skipper will hold the Baroda team in good stead. It will also serve as a welcome boost to the 32-year old, who will have to come to terms with the IPL snub.
Yusuf Pathan, on the other hand, will have to pull up his socks and perform well in the IPL if the 34-year old harbours any dreams of making an unlikely India comeback.