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Irfan Pathan retires from all forms of cricket

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 has 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 the 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 the 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.

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