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.

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.

Thank you for the memories, Irfan. You made us all very proud.