Irfan Pathan was quite a sensation during his heydey and almost five years after playing his last international match, the out of favour all-rounder opened up on a lot of topics which prevented him from forcing his way back into the national team.
He stated the fact that at times he used to overload himself on occasions which resulted in injuries. Irfan was the Man of the Match in his last international match but owing to injuries he never made a return to Indian team again.
“I was playing a Champions League game, the semi-final,” Irfan said. “We lost the game. The same night we took a flight [back to India]. A couple of days in between and I played a three-day game against England. The third day, the last day, I took a flight to Baroda. From the next day onwards, I played a Ranji Trophy game against Karnataka. I scored a hundred in that game, bowled more than 20 overs in an innings, so I played about nine days continuously.
“My knee flared up, and I got a fracture. So, in ten days I took an international flight, played a T20 game, came to India, I was still jet-lagged, played a three-day match, scored 45 against England, bowled more than 20-25 overs [19 overs], took a flight on the third day, played the Ranji Trophy whole game, and on the last day I got injured. Who plays that? No one plays seven days of continuous first-class cricket. So that was my commitment, and eventually, I got injured.
“That experience made me a person who sees the larger picture, and, you know, made me who I am. So there is no regret, but looking back in terms of, you know, when you said there [has not been much] first-class cricket – because of so many other reasons as well. It’s easy for someone to write that he played less first-class cricket.
“I haven’t talked about this, but this is what happened before I got injured. So, if not me, even the fittest guy would get like, you know – in terms of energy, people used to call me powerhouse because I can go on the whole day and energy was never an issue, but managing workload sometimes was an issue with me. Sometimes I used to overwork, so that was the main issue and this was happening exactly that way. I needed help as well, and I asked for help, and I didn’t get help.”
The old wounds and the words of regrets were coming out spontaneously, as he heard the commentators questioning his desire to make a return to the Indian squad. There were also whispers doing rounds that he would become fit ahead of any IPL season, but when his domestic side needed him his got injured. Irfan feels there is no basis of reality in this fact.