Irfan Pathan announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, on January 4 (Saturday). The left-arm pacer played 29 Tests, 120 ODIs and 24 T20Is for India, picking a total of 301 international wickets.
Having made his debut as a 19-year-old, in Adelaide against Australia in December 2003, he returned 1 for 160 – with Matthew Hayden being his maiden international victim. However, he quickly rose to become a regular across formats in the Indian setup following an impressive show on the tour of Pakistan in 2004, and remained a vital cog in the mid-2000s.
Some of his best moments as a bowler came against Pakistan – a first-over Test hat-trick in 2006, a man of the match performance in the 2007 World T20 final, among many others.
He was also one of the finest all-rounders India have produced, and has been promoted as an opener or a No 3 a few times for the team’s cause. In 29 Tests, he averaged 31.57 with the bat, including a century and six fifties in 40 innings. In ODIs and T20Is, he averaged 23.39 and 24.57 respectively. One of his best all-round performances came against Australia in Perth, where he won the Man of the Match in India’s historic victory during the 2007-08 tour.
However, with his speed dropping and swing not being potent in the latter half of 2000s, he found it difficult to make a place for himself in the side on a regular basis. He played his last Test against South Africa in 2008. He kept getting his chances in limited overs but struggled to make best use of it. In 2012, he played his last ODI as well as T20I. Thereafter, his performances took a dip even in domestic cricket. He finishes with 384 first-class wickets, 272 in List A and 173 in T20s. Hailing from Baroda, and having played most of his cricket for BCA, he shifted base to Jammu & Kashmir as a professional last season.
The 35-year-old played his last IPL game in 2017 and went unpicked in the three auctions that followed.