India all-rounder Irfan Pathan called it quits from all forms of cricket on Saturday. The southpaw turned out to be a consistent match-winner for India in the early and mid-2000s. He was lethal with the new ball with the ability to move the ball both ways and worked in tandem along with the likes of Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Laksmipathy Balaji, RP Singh, Munaf Patel, S Sreesanth etc. to register some memorable wins for India. Pathan was one of the bowling spearheads of the team in a lot of historic moments that Indian cricket enjoyed in the 2000s.
Pathan was one of the players, who was a part of the Indian team in the Greg Chappell era. The Indian team had a miserable time under Chappell. The team not only performed poorly but the environment within the dressing room wasn't positive. However, Irfan Pathan now claims to have had a productive outing under Chappell as the southpaw went on to pick a Test hat-trick against Pakistan in Karachi and he also played plenty of memorable knocks after being used as a floater in the batting line-up.
Post the announcement of his retirement, Pathan was asked about the Greg Chappell era. Pathan refuted claims that Chappell was one of the prime reasons behind his decline as a bowler. The southpaw reckoned that lack of workload management, which resulted in multiple injuries followed by the absence of any support from the team management, led to his decline.
In response, Greg Chappell told a leading Indian media daily that Pathan's all-round abilities were laudable. Chappell added that Pathan was happy to play whatever role the team required of him as he was both courageous and selfless. He went on to say that besides what he did in limited-overs cricket, he very nearly scored a Test century (93 vs Sri Lanka at the Ferozshah Kotla in Delhi). Chappell also said that his swing bowling was very good, with the highlight for him being his hat-trick in the first over of a Test match against Pakistan in Karachi.
Irfan Pathan played for India in 29 Tests, 102 One Day Internationals and 24 T20Is from 2003 to 2012. In a cricketing career which spanned over a decade, Pathan was an integral part of numerous memorable victories, which includes the historic tour of Pakistan in 2003-04, the 2007 ICC World T20 and the 2007-08 Australian tri-series. The southpaw played his last international match against South Africa in the ICC World T20 2012. The former all-rounder had made it to the 2013 Champions Trophy squad but did not feature in a single game as India went on to win the tournament without a single loss. This was also the last time that Pathan featured in the Indian squad.