Irfan Pathan revealed that he was not interested in touring Pakistan back in 2003 for an U-19 series but also went on to say what made him change his mind at the very last moment. Pathan was one of the best cricketers to have represented India at the highest level where he used to provide breakthroughs early on with his swing bowling and was also a handy batsman as an opener, at number three and at the middle-order.
During a recent Instagram live session with former Indian and Chennai Super Kings team-mate Suresh Raina, Irfan went on to say that he did no want to tour Pakistan in 2003 as he wanted to play a Ranji Trophy match against Mumbai and therefore, he had requested Shetty Sir that he wanted to play the match against Mumbai as he was in good form and should he perform against them then his name would definitely start doing the rounds.
However, Mr.Shetty denied permission to the Baroda cricketer from playing the Ranji Trophy match by telling him that India were going to play Pakistan for the first time in 14 years and he had to go since he already had the experience of playing U-19 cricket. The veteran all-rounder then mentioned that even though he had gone to the neighbouring country disappointed but he had no idea what was in store for him.
Even Raina himself went on to remind Pathan that everybody started talking about him when he had picked up 9 wickets on that tour with two hat-tricks. The veteran middle-order batsman further added that after Irfan had played that match, in Pakistan, he was selected for the tour of Australia by God's grace. The 2011 World Cup winner also remembered how a young Irfan Pathan had dismissed the destructive world-class batsmen during those days -Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden when he had made his Test debut Down Under in December 2003.