What’s the story?
After having been surprisingly ignored in the IPL 2017 auction, Team India discard Irfan Pathan has sent out a message to his fans, thanking them for their continued support throughout the tough times that the 32-year-old has gone through. He also revealed how he overcame physical trauma after a potentially career-ending injury laid him low, way back in 2010.
In case you didn’t know…
Pathan, whose base price was Rs. 50 lakh, wasn’t bought by any of the franchises, despite having the wealthy experience of 102 IPL games. He still features in the list of top-20 wicket-takers in the tournament across seasons. He managed to feature in only four games for his previous franchise, the Rising Pune Supergiants under the captaincy of MS Dhoni, before he was released by them after the tournament’s ninth season.
Pathan’s international career, which took off on the back of some explosive spells with the red cherry in Australia in 2003/04, reached its peak when he took a hat-trick against Pakistan in a Test in 2006. His form encountered a steady decline post that, with injuries and erratic form spiralling him down.
He was last seen in Indian colours in October 2012, featuring in a T20I against South Africa at Colombo.
The heart of the matter
In a message posted on Twitter a day after the auctions, Pathan recalled the time in 2010 when he was told he might not be able to play cricket again after suffering as many as five fractures in his back.
Despite all odds, Pathan battled on, even managing to get a place back in the ODI team. Yet, the 2007 World T20 winner, who hasn’t ever played a World Cup game, couldn’t match the magic of old, going out of favour after 2012.
Throughout all his travails, he had the unflinching support of his fans, who backed him despite the steep drop in his international career fortunes.
Last year, injuries, combined with poor form, plagued him post the IPL 2016. He managed to come back in style in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, picking up five wickets in four games for West Zone at an economy of 6.28.
With no IPL offer, Pathan will have to stay content with performing at the domestic level. The Vijay Hazare tournament will be the next point of focus for the Baroda-boy, which will hold him in good stead for the upcoming season. He might get a lucky break if one of the IPL teams requires his services – in case any of the enlisted players are forced out due to injury.
The IPL snub came as a surprise to us, for Pathan, despite being a pale shadow of his old self, could have fit well in most franchises owing to his immense experience and the nature of his game that perfectly suits the T20 bill. And, given that his base price wasn’t that hefty either, he surely should have got an offer.
However, despite the setback, Pathan, with this message, has proved why he will always remain a champion both on and off the field.
Revisit the Irfan Pathan hat-trick that made him the crowd’s darling a decade ago: