About Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan born on October 27, 1984 in Baroda, Gujarat, India) is an Indian cricketer who has been a member of the Indian national cricket team since late 2003. Beginning his career as a left-arm fast-medium swing bowler (evoking comparisons with Pakistan's Wasim Akram), Pathan improved his batting skills to become a bowling allrounder, even opening the batting on occasions. This led to critics comparing him with former Indian allrounder Kapil Dev.The improvement in his batting also coincided in a steady loss of pace and bowling form. After opening both the batting and bowling in late 2005 and early 2006, Pathan was dropped from the team in both Test and One Day International (ODI) forms of the game by the end of 2006 and by 2007 was no longer in the squad. He returned to international cricket in September 2007 for the inaugural World Twenty20, where he took three wickets and was man of the match as India beat Pakistan in the final.
Pathan grew up with his half-brother Yusuf in a mosque in Baroda, in an impoverished family. His father served as the muezzin. Although their parents wished them to become Islamic scholars, Pathan and his brother took an interest in cricket. Their games on the grounds off and inside the mosque often necessitated apologies from their father to Muslim worshippers who visited it. In the beginning his deliveries did not reach the other end of the cricket pitch, but rigorous six-hour training sessions in blazing heat and his family's sense of discipline saw him progress steadily. Under the guidance of former Indian captain Datta Gaekwad, Pathan rose to get selected in the Under-14 Baroda cricket team, and when he was selected at Under-15 level to represent Baroda in a national tournament, he was finally presented with a full set of cricket equipment, having before been restricted to second-hand gear due to his family's limited economic means.
Pathan made his first-class debut in the 200001 season, after fellow left-arm paceman Zaheer Khan was selected for the national team, helping Baroda to win the Ranji Trophy. This saw Baroda qualify for the following Irani Trophy, where Pathan's performance reminded V. V. S. Laxman of Zaheer. Pathan further honed his bowling at the MRF Pace Foundation in Chennai, after being referred by Indian selector Kiran More. In early 2002, he was selected for the Under-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand, where he took six wickets. In 2003 he was selected for the India A team which travelled to England and played in the domestic Challenger Series.
In late 2003, he was selected for the India Under-19 team to compete in an Asian ODI competition in Pakistan, where he was the leading bowler with 18 wickets. This was more than twice that of the second leading wicket-taker. His bowling average of 7.38 was also the best of the tournament and he was named as the player of the tournament. Pathan was featured on the headlines when he claimed 9/16 against Bangladesh and helped India to emerge victorious over Sri Lanka in the final, taking 3/33.This resulted in him being selected for the Indian national squad for the 200304 Border-Gavaskar Trophy series in Australia.
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