Irfan Pathan joined Jammu and Kashmir team for the Ranji Trophy pic courtesy: Facebook
Sabyasachi Bagchi, Kolkata: He last played for India back in 2012. He has of late been ignored by the ISL franchises as well. His Ranji Trophy side Baroda too has parted ways with him. But Irfan Pathan is not a character to leave the battlefield. Cricket has always been his first love. Thus he has decided to join the Jammu and Kashmir side as a player cum mentor. The former all-rounder of the national team then spoke to www.xtratime.in correspondent Sabyasachi Bagchi regarding different issues. Here goes the conversation:
XT: How much excited you are about your new venture?
Irfan: I am very excited. I have got a new life you might say. Parvez Rasool gave me the proposal three months back. I was also looking to do something new. Hence, grabbed this opportunity with both hands.
XT: Not just a cricketer, you would be playing the role of a mentor as well. How do you see the new role?
Irfan: I am taking this new role of a mentor as a new challenge. Well, who regularly plays First Class cricket, doesn’t need to teach the basics. The mental guidance is required. They need to perform according to the match situation. The more they will play, the more they will improve. The advantage of being a mentor is that I would also be there on the field alongside them. So, we will get the time to think more about the game.
XT: The present situation in Kashmir is not allowing you do the conditioning camps. You don’t even know when will that happen.
Irfan: Well, this is a sensative issue and I should not comment on that. But this has been a continuous trouble and despite all these, players like Parvez Rasool are coming with their ranks. Keep faith on us, we are gearing up to produce an outstanding performance next season.
XT: How much hopeful you are about the future of Jammu & Kashmir cricket?
Irfan: I firmly believe that they are fighters and what they need is sharpening up their skills. That is why I am here. Even if a single player from the state gets the opportunity to play for the national team, I will feel glad.
XT: Do you still dream for a comeback into the national team?
Irfan: Of course I do. Otherwise, there is no point in staying alive. I wake up.everyday morning with a dream to play for my country again. I work extremely hard. That is what I have on my hands, the rest depends on the selectors.
XT: You won’t play the IPL this season. Who are your favourites?
Irfan: Well, for me, Delhi and Chennai are the favourites. Chennai, of course because of MSD and the team they have. On the flip side, you need to remember that Delhi has Gambhir as Captain. That’s going to be significant. Gambhir is a master of this format. I feel Delhi and CSK would be the finalists.