Saturday, April 20

I didn’t want to tour Pakistan in 2003 for the U19 series: Irfan Pathan

Irfan Pathan. (Photo by Hamish Blair/Getty Images)

Irfan Pathan, the former Indian pacer was recently involved in a live Instagram session with Suresh Raina. During the candid session, both the players discussed topics related to cricket and shared their fond memories. Meanwhile, Pathan revealed that he didn’t want to go with India U19 on a tour to Pakistan back in 2003.

However, he went and performed exceedingly well that helped him in getting his maiden call-up from the national selectors. Irfan made his international debut against Australia and hogged the spotlight by taking big wickets of players like Adam Gilchrist and Mathew Hayden. He had the ability to swing the ball in both the directions and that used to make it difficult for any batsman.

Irfan helped Team India in winning several big games in international cricket. He was even awarded Man of the match in 2007 T20 World Cup finals for his remarkable bowling performance against arch-rivals Pakistan.

Irfan Pathan makes a surprising revelation during Instagram live

During the live Instagram session, Irfan revealed that he never wanted to travel Pakistan back in 2003. Irfan said that he wanted to play for Baroda in a Ranji Trophy match instead of touring Pakistan.

According to the former World Cup-winner, it was his coach who told him that he should go as it was the first time that India was going on a tour to Pakistan in a span of 14 years.

“I didn’t want to come on that Pakistan tour. We had a match against Mumbai in Ranji Trophy. I told Shetty sir that it’s a match against Mumbai, I’m in good form. So if I perform against them then my name will definitely start doing the rounds. But he said ‘no India are touring Pakistan for the first time in 14 years. You’ve played U19 before so you have to go.’ I went there disappointed to be honest but who knew what was in store for me,” Pathan told Raina in an Instagram live session.

In the end, Suresh Raina added that he still remember Pathan’s performance against Bangladesh U19 team. According to Raina, the pacer was fast-tracked into Team India after he took a nine-wicket haul in a match on that tour.

“I remember the Lahore match when you took 9 wickets with two hat tricks and everybody started talking about you. But you by God’s grace after you played that match in Pakistan you were selected for the Australia tour,” the 33-year-old added.

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