Irfan Pathan, who played his last Test at the age of 23 after having taken 100 wickets, gives credit to BCCI's proper, competitive domestic structure for the kind of reserve talent available now across the country.
"This is truly remarkable even as many cricketing nations are complaining about the lack of proper domestic structure,” the 33-year-old Irfan said on the sidelines of a promotional event for IPL here on Wednesday.
"Well, I will not subscribe to the view that IPL has now become the platform to showcase a cricketer's skills to get a quicker passage into the Indian team. Yes, it is undeniable that it is giving the kind of exposure to all the players which they badly need by competing against some of the best in the world. But do remember that even to get into an IPL team you need to perform well in domestic cricket," he said.
READ: M.S.K Prasad: 'We have to be careful about Bumrah’s workload'
"It is a fact that the likes of (Jasprit) Bumrah, Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar), Hardik (Pandya) hogged the limelight in the high-profile league and got noticed," he said. "I think we have the best group of fast bowlers in recent memory. All of them are truly brilliant. The fact that someone like Umesh (Yadav) did not get a chance to play a Test in South Africa recently is testimony to the kind of bench strength we have in fast bowlng," Irfan said. "We need to have such a group where anyone can walk into the Indian team at any given time,” he said.
"Honestly, even I would not have picked myself for any team in the last auction of the IPL. Having missed out first-class cricket, I knew what is coming at me,” Irfan said on not being picked by any franchisee for the next month's edition.
On his Test career, Irfan says he takes pride from the kind of impact his performances had at his peak. “Well, that fans continue to cheer and mob me even now shows the kind of impact I had on them. So, I don't feel sad at the numbers which can be tricky,” he said.
READ: Irfan on Jammu and Kashmir radar
"Yes, in the last three years I have not had the most satisfying experiences. I can only say talks were held with the J & K officials but nothing concrete has emerged so far," Irfan said about the reported move to the new State.
"Some captains had different mindsets. And, I got injured at the wrong time. I am not the first or the last one to be so. I have not given up as yet. The next season is going to commence very soon and I always look at the flip side of getting chances again," signed off an optimistic Irfan.
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