Irfan Pathan is now planning to play for Jammu & Kashmir in the domestic circuit for the next three seasons after being overlooked by his home team Baroda. The JKCA is also tried to bring in Kapil Dev as a full-time coach for the team, but the legendary pacer decided to take a part-time role.
In the early 2000s, when India was striving for a proper pace-bowling all-rounder to fill the bill, prodigious teenager Irfan had burst onto the scene and mesmerised the Indian fans through his accurate swing. He doubled up as a more than capable batsman to steer the team from bad positions to safety, more often than not. However, it was the injury concerns that proved detrimental to his career forcing him to spend more time in the rehab process than at the nets. The final nail in the coffin happened to be his ousting from his state team - Baroda - in the Ranji Trophy. Now, to revive his career once again, Pathan decided to play for J&K in the domestic circuit.
JKCA CEO Ashiq Ali Bukhari said, “We were looking out for a professional player and Irfan was our first choice. He has experience with him and is an all-rounder. His presence will help our boys to grow their game. At the same time, we have requested Kapil Saab to come on board. They both have asked for a few days time before taking a final call”.
Pathan has represented India in 29 Tests and 120 ODIs in his international career and was once considered as the most reliable all-rounder for the national team. However, for the past few years, he has been suffering from injuries and his form has taken a steep dip as he managed to take just 8 wickets and score only 200 runs in 10 matches last year.
However, Kapil Dev has rejected the full-time coaching job but has agreed to conduct small sessions
“They wanted to know if I would be interested in joining them for three seasons. I have got my NOC and the JKCA’s offer is good. I will be giving my final decision in a day or two,” Pathan said, reported ToI.