Irfan Pathan – the only bowler to secure a hat-trick in the first over of a Test match – announced retirement from all forms of international cricket today.
Talking about his journey as a cricketer, an emotional Irfan said:
It has been a great journey. I played cricket with all my heart and soul. I am really proud of it and when I look back, I feel happy with my achievements. It’s been a great career.
Irfan Pathan, an exciting player from Indo-Pak cricket rivalry, retires. Man-of-the-match in India’s WT20 Final win vs PAK, took a hat-trick in first over in Karachi, 3 wickets in ODI series decider in Lahore, century in Bangalore Test. TX for the memories @IrfanPathan. Go well.— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) January 4, 2020
Congratulations @IrfanPathan on an excellent career. So many landmarks, so many highlights. Remember the wide eyed young man at the breakfast table in Australia growing to play a key role in so many memorable moments for India. Tab gend bolti thi ab zubaan bolegi! Mubarak.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 4, 2020
He might still play for league-based franchises overseas, though. As for domestic cricket, Irfan noted:
In domestic cricket, too, I have been part of Jammu and Kashmir cricket and after last season, I thought what’s the motivation to play any more? I will keep contributing to Indian cricket, but it is always better if someone else takes my place in domestic cricket. There are lot of other things in store for me and I will keep focusing on them.
Irfan was player-cum-mentor for Jammu and played for his home side Baroda from 2000-2017.
Widely regarded as one of India’s best fast bowlers, Irfan rose to stardom with his performances against Pakistan and Australia in the mid-2000s.