HomeAthletesIrfan Pathan Biography: Rising from Baroda to International Fame
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Irfan Pathan Biography: Rising from Baroda to International Fame

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The Pathan brothers require no introduction, having garnered significant international attention for their exceptional talent. Irfan Pathan hailed as one of India’s most gifted swing and seam bowlers, has truly been a force to be reckoned with. His cricketing journey has been a captivating one, marked by remarkable triumphs and occasional setbacks. While his domestic debut and dazzling entry into the international arena showcased his immense potential. Following his appearance in the T20 World Cup 2012, he found himself primarily associated with the IPL and then eventually transitioning into a successful commentator. Today, we delve into his early life, thrilling career, and everything in between.

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Irfan Pathan Biography

Full name Irfan Khan Pathan
Born 27 October 1984 (age 38)
Place of Birth Baroda, Gujarat, India
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)[1]
Batting Style Left-handed
Bowling Style Left-arm medium-fast
Role Bowler
Relations Yusuf Pathan (brother)
Irfan Pathan Wife Safa Baig
National side India (2003–2012)
Test debut (cap 248) 12 December 2003 v Australia
ODI debut (cap 153) 9 January 2004 v Australia
T20I debut (cap 7) 1 December 2006 v South Africa
ODI Runs 1,544
Test Runs 1,305
Major Teams Played for India, Baroda, CSK, India Maharajas, Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab, Rising Pune Supergiants,

Early Life

Irfan Pathan KreedOn
Irfan Pathan | Credits:Republic

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 into 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.


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Domestic Career

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 the 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 their 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 the 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.

International Career

Irfan Pathan and Yusuf Pathan KreedOn
Irfan (left) and Yusuf Pathan’s (right) 50-run partnership led India to an unbelievable win against Sri Lanka in 2009 (credits: Getty Images)

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 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.


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The Dip in Form

It is tough for any athlete to maintain 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 test 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.


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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. Irfan Pathan retired from all forms of cricket in January 2020, following a rollercoaster journey marked by highs and lows.

Irfan Pathan in IPL

Image Source- India TV

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. In his IPL Career, Irfan has taken a total of 80 wickets in 103 matches.

Career Stats: Irfan Pathan

  • Batting & Fielding
FORMAT Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave BF SR 100s 50s 4s 6s Ct St
Test 29 40 5 1105 102 31.57 2076 53.22 1 6 131 18 8 0
ODI 120 87 21 1544 83 23.39 1941 79.54 0 5 142 37 21 0
T20I 24 14 7 172 33* 24.57 144 119.44 0 0 9 7 2 0
FC 122 179 29 4559 121 30.39 3 26 30 0
List A 193 143 33 2454 83 22.30 3073 79.85 0 9 39 0
T20 181 142 54 2020 65* 22.95 1628 124.07 0 2 150 70 44 0
  • Bowling
FORMAT Mat Inns Balls Runs Wkts BBI BBM Ave Econ SR 4w 5w 10w
Test 29 54 5884 3226 100 7/59 12/126 32.26 3.28 58.8 2 7 2
ODI 120 118 5855 5142 173 5/27 5/27 29.72 5.26 33.8 5 2 0
T20I 24 23 462 618 28 3/16 3/16 22.07 8.02 16.5 0 0 0
FC 122 21034 10880 384 7/35 28.33 3.10 54.7 19 3
List A 193 9365 7898 272 5/27 5/27 29.03 5.06 34.4 7 2 0
T20 181 175 3606 4568 173 5/13 5/13 26.40 7.60 20.8 2 1 0

Irfan Pathan Wife

Irfan Pathan KreedOn
Irfan Pathan with wife Safa Baig (left) and mother Samimbanu (right) | Credits Twitter

Indian former cricketer, 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 two sons, Imran Khan, and Suleiman Khan.


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Unknown Facts about Irfan Pathan

  • Irfan Pathan is one of 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.

Irfan Pathan as Commentator 

Image Source- HT

Irfan Pathan excels as a cricket commentator owing to his extensive experience and deep cricketing knowledge. Having played for India as a skilled all-rounder for several years, he possesses the ability to analyze the game from diverse angles, offering unique insights that set him apart from other commentators. Moreover, his amiable and witty personality makes him a delight to listen to. He effortlessly connects with fans, sharing his unwavering passion for the sport. Notably, he was also seen doing commentary during the IPL 2023 matches.

Social Media: Irfan Pathan

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Mamta Thatte
Mamta Thatte
A passionate foodie, a versatile writer, and now a sports enthusiast, Mamta is always open to exploring new avenues. She has a vast experience in Web Content Writing, Editing, and Social Media Management. A self-confessed coffee and dark chocolate addict, she believes in following her heart and giving her 100% into everything she does.

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