Irfan Pathan retires from all formats of cricket

At 35, speedster Irfan Pathan announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Saturday after 15 years of service.

One of India’s best swing and seam bowlers, Pathan, will be available for franchise-based leagues out of India.

“In domestic cricket, too, I have been part of Jammu and Kashmir cricket and after last season, I thought what’s the motivation to play any more?” Pathan said.

“I will keep contributing to Indian cricket, but it is always better if someone else takes my place in domestic cricket. There are a lot of other things in store for me and I will keep focusing on them,” Pathan said about his future plans.

Pathan featured in 29 Tests, 120 One-Day Internationals and 24 Twenty20 Internationals for India and last played international cricket in 2012.

Irfan’s hat-trick in the first over of the Karachi Test in 2006 established him as one of the leading swing bowlers.

“Every time I visited Pakistan, I have returned with good memories. I first played there during the under-19 days and took nine wickets against Bangladesh — including a hat-trick — in an Asian under-19 tournament. Later, playing for the senior team, I performed really well,” Pathan said.

“It has been a great journey. I played cricket with all my heart and soul. I am really proud of it and when I look back, I feel happy with my achievements. It’s been a great career,” the pacer said.

Irfan will always be remembered as the middle-class boy from Baroda who worked very hard to make a name for himself in international cricket. Coming from a family that lived in the backyard of a mosque – his father was a muezzin in Baroda – the Pathan brothers came a long way and are among the biggest names in international cricket.

Yusuf went unsold in the IPL auctions this year and is currently playing the Ranji Trophy for Baroda.