Never lost my swing, blaming Chappell just a cover-up: Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan announced retirement from all forms of cricket last week, having last played for India back in 2012. In 173 internationals, Pathan picked up 301 wickets and scored 2,821 runs. Many blamed Greg Chappell's coaching stint as an important factor behind him losing his pace and ability to swing the ball. But Pathan has denied all these claims and said that he never lost any swing. He told PTI:
"All these discussions…people talking about Greg Chappell they are just covering up. (The discussion that) Irfan was not interested, it was coming from somewhere. All the aura they made that Irfan lost his swing, people need to understand, that you are not going to get the same kind of swing that you get in 10 overs. I was still getting the swing."
Pathan was very vocal about the role he was given in the team and also about the way he was dropped after winning the game against Sri Lanka in 2008, saying:
"People talk about my performance, but my job was different. I was given the job to contain because I was bowling first change. I had been told this is your job. I remember getting dropped after winning the game in Sri Lanka in 2008, who gets dropped after winning the game for the country without any reason?"
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Pathan said injuries, especially the back injury that he suffered during the 2009-10 season, was what significantly reduced his pace and also kept him away from the game for large periods of time.
"In 2009-2010, I had a back injury, and I was struggling to go to Mumbai, Ahmedabad, in Bangalore to check my back. I used to go through the scan, which is not good for your body, but I used to go through that and have different kinds of scans to actually know what is exactly happening with my back."
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The former India all-rounder discarded all claims that he was not keen enough to play for India again. He believed that he always played cricket with great passion and a burning desire to feature for the country, saying:
"I was leading Baroda side as well in Ranji Trophy. If that was the case, why would a player, who was well settled in IPL, well-settled in ODIs, play nine-day cricket in 10-days (Champions League, three day game versus England and Ranji match against Karnataka)? I scored 100 in the game and bowled 25 overs."
"Why should I do that? I love playing for the country and wanted to make a comeback to Test cricket," he added.