After serving Indian cricket for 15 years, pacer Irfan Pathan on Saturday (December 4) announced international retirement.
While speaking at the Star Sports studio, Pathan said, “In domestic domain too, I have been part of Jammu and Kashmir cricket and after last season, I thought what’s the motivation to play any more?”
One of India’s most prominent seamers, Pathan has featured in 29 Tests, 120 One-Day Internationals and 24 T20 Internationals.
On a day when some of his counterparts are still busy making their future plans in the sport, the 35-year-old has decided to make himself available for overseas franchise-based leagues.
“I will keep contributing to Indian cricket, but it is always better if someone else takes my place in domestic cricket. There are lot of other things in store for me and I will keep focusing on them,” Pathan revealed his future plans.
Though he doesn’t find the motivation to continue as a player for the Jammu and Kashmir team, he will continue to be their mentor.
Pathan, who was the torch-bearer of India’s fast-bowling all-rounders, reminisced his heroics in the tours of Australia and Pakistan in 2004.
“Every time I visited Pakistan, I have returned with good memories. I first played there during the under-19 days and took nine wickets against Bangladesh, including a hat-trick in an Asian under-19 tournament. Later, playing for the senior team, I performed really well,” Pathan said.
The left-arm swing expert, in his debut series, picked up wickets of biggies Australian Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden in the ODIs.
“It has been a great journey. I played cricket with all my heart and soul. I am really proud of it and when I look back, I feel happy with my achievements. It’s been a great career,” said the pacer whose first over hat-trick in the 2006 Karachi tour made him one of the best bowlers of his era.