India all-rounder Irfan Pathan announced retirement from all formats of cricket on Saturday after serving as an international cricketer for 19 years. Pathan, in a show on Star Sports, said: “I am announcing retirement from all forms of cricket. I have been fortunate to share the dressing room with greats of the game like (Sourav) Ganguly, (Rahul) Dravid and (VVS) Laxman. I am calling time on my career.”
A day after the announcement, Irfan’s elder brother Yusuf Pathan recalled his younger brother’s historic career and credited Irfan for his fame.
In an interview to Indian Express, Yusuf said: “Going back to our early days, I remember that we used to fight. As I was the older brother, I cheated a lot. Of course, because we played a lot of cricket we often got a scolding at home and also got beatings. But it toughened us up.”
He added: “I must say that it is because of him that I too became well-known and made a name for myself. When I played domestic cricket, people knew that I was Irfan’s brother.”
Yusuf further spoke about the setbacks Irfan faced in his career. “Irfan suffered many injury setbacks but he handled those difficult phases in his career well. More often than not he made a successful return from an injury lay-off,” he said.
“There were times when coaches advised him to change his action. They probably did it for his betterment. I don’t think he lost the ability to swing the ball. He still swings the new ball. Today who swings with the ball after the first five overs?” he added.
The Baroda captain added that he feels proud to be known as Irfan’s brother. “Even in my mohalla people sometimes refer to me as Irfan’s brother. I always feel proud to be known as his brother. In a way, we put Baroda on the cricketing map again. Now people connect Baroda with Irfan Pathan.”