Once he was considered to be the best-suited all-rounder in the country to fill in the shoes of Kapil Dev. But he failed to fulfill the expectations of people. Though Irfan Pathan is not giving up his dreams. He still feels the possibility of a comeback in the National team is quite possible. In a recent chat with the CricketSoccer, the 32-year old all-rounder from Baroda opens up his mind regarding a national team call-up, his fitness, and hunger for success.
Here are the excerpts:
CricketSoccer: At first you were ignored in the IPL auction, then were picked by Gujarat Lions in the midway of the tournament, how will you describe all these in one sentence?
Irfan Pathan: Hard work is always paid for.
CS: So were you prepared for a call up?
Irfan: Yes of course. Look, to be ignored in the auction was a very painful experience for me. I never even imagined that I could remain unsold in the auction. But that was the reality. I got no team. That was a very frustrating period. It seemed that I was not alive. It took some time to realize that I can’t play IPL. But generally I opted not to lose focus. I started to work harder. I had performed up to the mark in the domestic limited overs tournament for Baroda. I got runs as well as wickets. So after being ignored in the auction, I gave it all in the nets. Insallah, I got the reward.
CS: Gujarat Lions failed to qualify for the playoffs despite having a good team. What went wrong?
Irfan: Look, success or failure does not only depend on how good a team you have. To get success, you need to have a bit of luck also. We struggled for a lot of injury issues. Besides we lost a few close games. If the result of those matches went in our favour, who could say whether we can break the shackles of playoffs also.
CS: Which team do you think to be the favorite to win the title this year?
Irfan: It’s very difficult to give a prediction in T-Twenty cricket. All the teams who have qualified for the play offs have the capacity to become champion. Let’s wait and see.
CS: India is scheduled to play in the Champions Trophy just after the IPL. How are you seeing India’s chances?
Irfan: India is the current title holder in this tournament. Let’s not forget that. And that title also came playing in UK. You can not predict a champion barring India. Virat Kohli and his boys will definitely start the tournament as one of the favourites. But they will face a stiff challenge from all the other teams. Though they are capable enough to overcome those challenges.
CS: On your part, is there any disappointment not to be a part of the National team?
Irfan: Every cricketer takes the field with a dream to play on the bigger stage, i.e. national team. I also dream so. But I have to snatch a place in the team on my own. I honestly feel a lot of cricket is alive in me. I still feel that I can make a comeback in the Indian team. The only thing I have to concentrate is to be fit and ready for any challenges. I am keeping my fingers crossed. If I get a chance, I will prove my worth. I am still hungry for success.