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I never lost my swing, blaming Chappell just a cover-up: Irfan Pathan News – Cricket


MUMBAI: Former Indian pacemaker Irfan Pathan on Sunday said he never lost his swing, contrary to the general perception at the time, and added to blame coach Greg Chappell for his downfall was a cover-up.

Pathan, 35, announced his retirement on Saturday, saying that “most players start their career in India at 27-28, but I ended up playing my last game at that stage.”

Pathan was 27 when he made his last appearance in 2012. There was also a time when there was speculation about the intention of the left arm pacemaker to reproduce the three formats.

“All these discussions… People who talk about Greg Chappell who are just covering up. (The debate that) Irfan wasn’t interested, he came from somewhere. All the aura they made of Irfan lost his swing, people need to understand, you’re not going to have the same kind of swing you get in 10 overs. I was still getting the swing,” Pathan told PTI.

“People talk about my performance, but my work was different. They gave me work to contain because I was bowling for the first time. I was told this is your job. I remember being dropped after winning the match in Sri Lanka in 2008, which falls after winning the game for the country for no reason?” he questioned.

Pathan appeared in 29 Tests (1105 runs and 100 wickets), 120 ODI (1544 runs and 173 wickets) and 24 T20 Internationals (172 runs and 28 wickets).

Many former players feel they could have played for much longer. The form problems and injuries prevented him from realizing his true potential.

After the 2008 IPL, questions were raised about Pathan’s willingness to reproduce all three formats. Pathan, however, claimed that was never the case.

“Yes, I always wanted to play all three formats. In 2009-2010, I had a back injury, and was struggling to go to Mumbai, Ahmedabad, in Bangalore to check my back. I used to go through scanning, which isn’t good for your body, but I used to go through that and have different kinds of scans to really know what’s going on exactly with my back.

“Unfortunately we didn’t have those kind of machines at the time that (it) would make it clear why I’m getting back pain. It eventually turned out to be five fractures, disc prolapse and a crack. I was struggling for two years with a back injury and that back injury kept getting worse, but I didn’t stop playing Ranji Trophy.”

Pathan said despite all the challenges he kept pushing himself.

“My speed dropped during that time because I wasn’t completely fit. I kept pushing myself. It was because of the love of the game and the red ball moving away from my hand.

“I also directed Baroda’s side in the Ranji Trophy. If that was the case, why would a player, who was well established in IPL, well-established in ODIs, play nine-day cricket in 10 days (Champions League, three-day match against England and Ranji against Karnataka)? I scored 100 in the game and threw 25 overs.

“Why should I do that? I love playing for the country and I wanted to go back to Test cricket,” he said.

He also praised his former captains Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble.

“When I joined the Indian team, Ganguly knew I could do well with the new ball in Australia. Eventually it gave me the confidence. I think that was the beginning,” he said.

“When Dravid became the captain, he used my potential one step ahead. He used me higher in the batting order (when) in addition to bowling with the new ball,” he said.

“Anil bhai was the kind of older adult I was lucky enough to have with Sachin paaji (Tendulkar), who always gave me the right advice.

“His leadership was outstanding. He is mature in handling difficult situations and proved that during the Episode of Monkeygate,” he signed.

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