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The Dismantling Of Irfan Pathan

Tim Holt
2.22K   //    14 Mar 2011, 01:45 IST
Irfan Pathan-The Man India So Needed

It was the farewell Test for Steve Waugh at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 04 against a very fine Indian side.So the game was all about the farewell of a true icon of this great game.Though amongst this fanfare for Waugh and the struggle between the two Teams with the series being locked 1 all.That for a bit of umpiring intervention in favour of the Aussies that halted the Indian charge was the eventual series result.

Though aside from all this pomp and ceremony there was a highlight in this game that was all about the future.It centred around one ball to one true legend announcing the prospect of impending greatness……….
It was of course the brutal 145 kph inswinging yorkers from the 18 year old Irfan Pathan that dismantled Adam Gilchrist‘s timber.Making him look about as foolish as he ever looked in his career and having all who witnessed it aghast at the spectacle…
When you see something like this in sport you automatically start to roll out the monikers and start to pass on the myth.To many he was the new Wasim Akram and the fact that he could bat too.Saw Indian’s label him the next Kapil Dev.All were in consensus that a future superstar in the game was born for us to bask in for a good 10 years and beyond………….
And how ‘right’ have we been with now Irfan not even part of the Indian Team and hasn’t been since 2009……
Which truly begs the question of why?

Especially when you watch the current Indian side that is crying out for the type of bowler that Irfan Pathan was.
The sad spectre of injuries have of course blighted his career, but in my mind these injuries have been more due to India’s cricketing culture than mere bad luck.
This on the back on how demanding cricket is for the Indian stars with the BCCI love affair with money spinning meaningless Odi series and then the emergence of the Indian Premier League in 2008.So for one that was still in a boys body in a brutally mans World.Pathan was playing cricket pretty much 12 months a year and a toil on his body was the result.
When if he was managed more judiciously by being saved for the meaningful games.He would have been allowed to mature into the game with the strength needed to play it with regularity.
Even Greg Chappell in 08 muted
‘Being a young man he’s striving to improve himself all the time. I would say at times he has worked too hard.’
So these words from a previous Indian Coach has to beg the question why the hell wasn’t the decision made to forceably sit him? Rather than let him run the risk of injury which he’s succumbed to now?
Then further condemnation of his management was what he was expected to be.In his debut series he was an out an out fast bowler that swung the ball….

In a word what India so needed….
Though with his logical struggles of form that is so associated with new players entering the game.Rather than have India show trust in what he was and duly what he more than likely was to be in the future.Instead they tried to reinvent him onto an opening batsman and then a medium pace bowler which truly belied belief.

It got to a farcical point that im sure even Irfan Pathan didn’t know what he was expected to be….
So with all these things going against him a loss of form and injuries followed. Thus nobbling a career to the point of maybe no return
To the point where a 26 year old at the peak of his powers who should have been leading India’s charge at this World Cup wasn’t even a consideration

All due to the factors in Indian cricket that dismantled a star as bright as Irfan Pathan

Tim Holt
Cricket through the eyes of an Irishman. Do check out more on my blog <a href="">atouchofirishintheglobalvillage</a>
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