Irfan Pathan became a cult hero among India supporters following his historic first-over hat-trick against Pakistan at the National Stadium in Karachi in 2006. He became the second Indian after Harbhajan Singh to take a Test hat-trick.
All-rounder Irfan Pathan announced his retirement from all forms of the game on Saturday. Irfan revealed his decision during a show on India cricket's official broadcasters.
The 35-year-old last played a competitive game in February 2019 during the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy for Jammu and Kashmir. Irfan's decision to hang up his boots was on expected lines as he didn't even put his name in the Indian Premier League (IPL) auction pool in December. Irfan featured in 120 ODIs, 29 Tests and 24 T20Is for India in a career that spanned over 15 years.
"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," Irfan said during a show on Star Sports.
"I would like to thank my family for providing much-needed support. I would like to thank my fans. They have always hoped for my comeback. Their support has kept me going," he added.
Irfan made his Test debut against Australia in Adelaide in 2003 and scalped 100 wickets in the longest format. He became a cult hero among India supporters following his historic first-over hat-trick against Pakistan at the National Stadium in Karachi in 2006. He became the second Indian after Harbhajan Singh to take a Test hat-trick.
In ODIs, he was more effective as he took 173 wickets in 118 innings at a decent average of 29.7. His career economy rate of 5.2 was also noteworthy.
Irfan's biggest contribution to Indian cricket arguably came in the shortest format as he was named the man of the match in the final of ICC World T20 against Pakistan in 2007. Irfan scalped three crucial wickets and gave away just 16 runs in four overs in the championship clash as India lifted the title in Johannesburg.
Irfan's batting credentials were also up to the mark, so much so that at one point, he was promoted to number three on ODIs and was a mainstay for some time. In 87 ODI innings, he scored 1544 runs including five fifties. He went a step better in Tests where he slammed a century against Pakistan. In total, he aggregated 1105 runs in 40 innings.