Irfan Pathan looking to grab 'slim chances' to prolong career
Overlooked during IPL Auction 2018, Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan is still looking forward and isn't ready to throw in the towel just yet. The 33-year-old admitted that he is unsure about playing in IPL 2018 but is excited about what the future holds for him.
Applying for a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from Baroda, his home state, the all-rounder has been linked with a move to Jammu and Kashmir. Speaking to reporters at the launch of the Cricket Academy of Pathans in Bengaluru, he said: "Obviously IPL I am not sure this year. I didn't play first-class cricket, I was captain, and there were lot of non-cricketing issues from Baroda's side, so I have left the state and I'll be joining a different state next year with a bigger responsibility and better opportunity, and hopefully it'll take me a long way in terms of my career. "
With over 300 wickets for India across all formats, Irfan is certainly one of India's most successful bowlers. However, his last game for India was in 2012 in a T20I and not only hasn't he represented his country in the last five years but he has also not had a great time with his domestic side recently. At the start of the 2017/18 season, he was announced as captain and mentor of the Baroda but was dropped after just two games.
Deepak Hooda replaced the 33-year-old all-rounder and since then, Pathan has asked for a NOC from the state and has been approached by the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) to represent them as player-cum-mentor, for the next three seasons. JKCA CEO Ashiq Ali Bukhari said: “We were looking out for a professional player and Irfan was our first choice. He has experience with him and is an all-rounder. His presence will help our boys to grow their game."
Although he is unsure of whether his new opportunity might lead to a return to the Indian side, the all-rounder is optimistic about his chances going forward.
"I am very excited about the new opportunity for next year, and really looking forward to it. Chances are very slim, but I'll take them," he added.