The Pathan brothers need no introduction. Both gained a lot of international attention with their talent. One of the most talented swing and seam bowlers in India, Irfan Pathan sure has been a powerhouse of talent. He has had an interesting cricketing journey with several stellar highs and some disappointments as well. After an illustrious domestic start and stunning international debut, somewhere down the line, Irfan slowly slipped out of the international circuit.
After the T20 Twenty World Cup 2012 appearance, Irfan was seen only in the IPL circuit. Today we trace his early life, exciting career, and all things in between.
Date of Birth
27 October 1984
Mehmood Khan Pathan and Samimbanu Pathan
9 January 2004
12 December 2003
T 20 Debut
1 December 2006
Teams Played for
Baroda, Middlesex, Kings XI Punjab, Delhi Daredevils, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Chennai Super Kings, Rising Pune Supergiants, Gujarat Lions
Irfan Pathan Biography
Born in the Pathan community of Gujarat in India, Pathan comes from a humble family. He grew up with his elder brother Yusuf in a mosque as his father worked there. His Pashtun father wanted him to be an Islamic scholar, but both Pathan brothers were interested in playing cricket. So much so that they used to practice on the mosque grounds.
With disciplined practice sessions, Pathan developed his bowling skills steadily.
Pathan became a part of the Baroda Under-14 cricket team and took his first step in the big cricketing world. Soon, he also cracked the selections of the Under-16 team. He also played some matches for Baroda Under-19s and India Under-15 teams.
Pathan was also a part of the 2003-04 Emerging Players series team against Pakistan and Sri Lanka. He took seven wickets in 3 matches at a rate of 11.00. Another breakthrough came for Pathan when he was selected for the 2003 Asian Youth ODI competition as a part of the Indian Under-19 team. He was the leading bowler for the team with 18 wickets at an economy rate of 3.54. He was also named the player of the tournament. His stellar performance helped him earn a national squad spot for the 2003-04 Border-Gavaskar Trophy test series.
Zaheer Khan’s national team selection opened up a place for Pathan in the Bengal team for the Ranji Trophy 2001. Though he debuted with good numbers, Pathan couldn’t carry thee momentum in other games. After being omitted from the senior team for a while, he bounced back and made his List A debut against Mumbai. He took 1/69 from his spell of nine overs. He started training at the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai. A big through came for Pathan when he was selected for the Under-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand in 2002.
He scored 30 runs and took six wickets at 27.50 against South Africa there. Selectors continued there faith in Pathan, and he was selected for the Duleep Trophy as well. He did not disappoint them, and his success in the next few matches made him an integral part of India A team. Pathan toured Sri Lanka and England in the next couple of years. He was also a part of the Challenger Trophy tournament and took two wickets at an economy of 5.85.
Once again Zaheer Khan played a key role in Pathan’s career. When Khan was injured, Pathan ended up opening in the bowling for India in his Test debut against Australia in 2003. The match was memorable for Pathan as he took the wicket of Matthew Hayden. Throughout the tournament, he ended up dismissing Steve Waugh, Adam Gilchrist, and Ricky Ponting.
He immediately made his ODI debut in the following tri-series against Australia and Zimbabwe and stunned everyone by being the leading wicket-taker. He took 16 wickets at an average of 31.
His economy in ODIs continued to better over the next few tournaments, and he was declared as the ICC Emerging Player of the Year in 2004. This indeed was the golden period of Pathan’s career. He was the leading wicket-taker yet again at the 2004 Asia Cup in Sri Lanka. He also scored 64 runs in the league.
The Dip in Form
It is tough for any athlete to maintain a good form consistently and Pathan experienced this in his Europe tour. Australia’s India tour at the end of 2004 was also disappointing for the team, especially so for Pathan who was looking forward to cementing his position in the teat team. He ended up being overlooked in the first Test against South Africa. However, he was soon recalled for the second Test.
India’s Bangladesh tour gave a new opportunity to Pathan and he grabbed it with both hands by taking 5/45 and 6/51 in the first Test. This performance earned him his first Test Man of the Match award. Riding high on this appreciation he took 18 wickets in the entire series and took home the Man of the Series award.
Pathan was initially struggling with ODIs. Greg Chappell’s entry into the Indian team as the coach helped Pathan a lot. Chappell helped Pathan hone his batting skills as well. At the Videocon Triangular Series in Zimbabwe, he took 10 wickets at an economy rate of 5.03. He also opened the batting at the 2005 Challenger Trophy. Later, he started batting at number 3.
After some ups and downs in form, Pathan was part of the Kitply Cup and Asia Cup in 2008. He also took part in some India A team matches against New Zealand and Australia teams.
The all-rounder made a comeback for India against West Indies in ODIs in December 2011. He was also a part of the Commonwealth Bank Series and Asia Cup.
Private League Career
In 2008, Pathan was picked up by Kings XI Punjab franchise of the Indian Premier League. He took 15 wickets at 23.33 at an economy rate of 6.60 runs per over in the tournament. In 2012, he was signed on by the Delhi Daredevils. After two seasons with the team he became a part of the Sunrisers Hyderabad team in 2014.
Career Stats: Irfan Pathan
Batting and fielding averages
Family Life: Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan was born to Mehmood Khan Pathan and Samimbanu Pathan. He married Safa Baig in February 2016. She is a former model and journalist. The couple is blessed with a son Imran Khan Pathan.
Unknown Facts about Irfan Pathan
- Irfan Pathan is the fastest Indian ODI player to reach the 100 wicket mark. He achieved the feat in 59 matches.
- Along with on-field talent, Pathan has a lot of on-stage talent as well. He participated in the dance reality show Jhalak Dikhla Jaa in 2015.
- The Pathan brothers – Irfan and Yusuf – have started an academy, Cricket Academy of Pathans. Greg Chappell trains the coaches hired by the academy.
Social Media: Irfan Pathan
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) August 12, 2019
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) August 21, 2019
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) July 30, 2019
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) June 23, 2019