Recently retired cricketer Irfan Pathan has finally responded to allegations that he lost his ability to swing the ball under former coach Greg Chappell. Refuting all the claims, he termed the same as a 'cover-up' for his non-inclusion in the team.
Clearing the air on the allegations, Pathan told PTI, "These discussions, people talking about Greg Chappell they are just covering up. Irfan was not interested, it was coming from somewhere. All the aura they made that Irfan lost his swing, people need to understand, that you are not going to get the same kind of swing that you get in 10 overs. I was still getting the swing.”
“People talk about my performance, but my job was different. I was given the job to contain because I was bowling first change. I had been told this is your job. I remember getting dropped after winning the game in Sri Lanka in 2008, who gets dropped after winning the game for the country without any reason?” Pathan further said.
The all-rounder, who once drew comparisons with Kapil Dev for his all-round ability announced his retirement from cricket on Saturday after an unfulfilled career. His retirement led to the renewal of allegations that Chappell was responsible for Pathan losing his swing.
Pathan admitted on Saturday that he regretted having played his last game for India at the age of 27. “Most players start their India career at 27-28 but I ended up playing my last game at that stage," the Baroda all-rounder rued.
After his retirement, Pathan also took the opportunity to thank his captains Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, and Anil Kumble.
“When I came into the Indian team, Ganguly knew I could do well with the new ball in Australia. He eventually gave me confidence. I think that was the start,” he said.
“When Dravid became the captain, he utilized my potential one step ahead. He used me higher in the batting order besides bowling with the new ball,” he said.
“Anil Bhai was the kind of senior I was lucky to have alongside Sachin paaji, who always gave me the right advice,” he further added.
In a stop-start career, Pathan played 29 Tests, 120 ODIs and 24 T20Is, claiming 100, 173 and 28 wickets respectively.
--Renin Wilben Albert