Pathan working towards India comeback

India

Veteran India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has hit back at critics saying he no longer cares about playing for the national side and has prioritised T20 cricket, saying he has not been fit enough for international duty.

Veteran India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has hit back at critics saying he no longer cares about playing for the national side and has prioritised T20 cricket, saying he has not been fit enough for international duty.

Pathan, who last played for India in 2012, has been hit by various injuries, but has played a number of T20 matches over the past two years, but only five four-day Ranji Trophy games. He has played for Baroda as a batsman though.

As such, he has been criticised for playing lucrative T20s, but he says he was not fit to bowl long spells, and was looking to be fully fit before playing a full domestic season, in order to get his India place back.

An irate Pathan told <i>Cricinfo</i>: "When anyone questions my credentials in the team, it really hurts but I don't think too much about it.

"When people talk about not playing the last two domestic seasons, they don't talk about me playing as a batsman for half of the Ranji season even when the physio had told me to wait. The physio had told me I couldn't do any harm if I played as a batsman.

"I could have easily taken that away and sat out. But I thought it was my duty to serve Baroda cricket, and [for] half of the season I played as a batsman when I could have easily said 'Let me get fully fit and I would wait and play only as a bowling allrounder'.

"Besides, I played one-day cricket and the Mushtaq Ali Trophy as well. People in Baroda cricket and those who know me know well that just before the Mushtaq Ali Trophy I had typhoid. And I hadn't recovered fully.

"I want to make sure that those kind of questions don't arise. People don't talk about it which is very unfortunate. You know what you are doing, you believe in God and you know you are honest.

"So eventually, I keep working hard towards playing for country again which I will do very soon. Let people talk what they want to talk."

He added: "Yes, the World Cup is in mind. But at the same time I need to be realistic, making sure to play as many Ranji Trophy matches and a full domestic season.

"Once I do that, as a bowler you know that the more matches he plays the better he gets, the fitter he gets. His bowling gets to the level which he wants.

"I also want to do the same by playing as many matches as many possible. And then there is an aim of playing for India. That may happen either before the World Cup or after it. But that's going to happen for sure."

Latest