In an Instagram Live session with former teammate and another out-of-favour India cricketer Suresh Raina, Pathan said, “Communication is very important. If they come and tell me ‘Irfan you have retired but you prepare for one year and you will be available for India selection’ then I will leave everything, give my heart and soul and will only do hard work. But who will do the communication?”
“Tell me if they say ‘Suresh Raina you have six months and there is a World Cup, we will consider you provided you perform well’ so won’t you give your all?” Irfan asked Raina, to which the southpaw replied, “Yes, absolutely.”
At one point of time, Pathan was the premier all-rounder in world cricket. He claimed a hat-trick in the 2006 Karachi Test against Pakistan, was the man of the match in the 2007 T20 World Cup and also the 2008 Perth Test against Australia, in which he came up with a stellar all-round show.
In an unfulfilled career, Pathan claimed 100 wickets in 29 Tests at an average of 32, and also scored 1,105 runs. In 120 ODIs, he picked up 173 wickets and scored over 1,500 runs. He also scalped 28 wickets in 24 T20Is.
Expressing his views, Raina stated that fighting cricketers like them should be respected which, unfortunately, is not the case.
“We are still young and fit but most importantly we have that passion. We are fighters, if we get a chance then we will surely perform. I’ve seen a lot of players trying different things, even changing associations but they are not getting the support," the left-hander rued.
Raina gave the examples of Sachin Tendulkar and a few others who played well into the late 30s. “A sports person's career is generally finished by 36 or 38. If he’s someone like MS Dhoni, who has a solid body, Sachin paaji too played till 40, Ashish Nehra played for a long long time and there are a lot of others who performed but somehow didn’t fit in the team. I believe all these players should be respected, that’s it,” Raina added.
--By A Cricket Correspondent