Irfan Pathan on Jammu and Kashmir radar

Sources say the out of favour India cricketer received an offer from Ashiq Hussain Bukhari, the new CEO of JKCA, to represent the valley.

Irfan Pathan is likely to take over as a player-cum-mentor of Jammu and Kashmir.   -  AP


If there is no major twist in the tale, Irfan Pathan could start his new stint with Jammu and Kashmir in the coming season.

The Baroda all-rounder, an India discard, is likely to take over as a player-cum-mentor of the side. While the pacer — who recently obtained a No Objection Certificate from Baroda Cricket Association — was not available for a comment, Sportstar understands that Pathan is in the final stage of discussions with Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association’s (JKCA) new CEO, Ashiq Hussain Bukhari.

Irfan Pathan: 'I would've loved to have more opportunities'

The formalities could be completed once Bukhari, who is now travelling, is back in the country. The state association has also called a meeting on Wednesday (January 24) to take a final call.

It is also learnt that a senior player of the team has introduced Pathan — who was dropped from Baroda — to the JKCA CEO and suggested that he be added to the side.

Also read: Baroda drops Irfan, appoints Hooda as skipper

The decision could also be an aftermath of the team’s poor show in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament and Ranji Trophy.

Last week, Bukhari had met former India captain Kapil Dev and Pathan to take their advice on how to rebuild the cricketing structure in the valley; that’s when Pathan was offered the role.

A source, who is aware of the development, said, “The CEO did meet the two (Kapil and Irfan) to discuss the road ahead. A final decision would be taken on Wednesday’s meeting.”

However, he didn’t divulge whether Kapil’s services too will be rendered.

If Pathan steps in, it would not be the first time that JKCA would be hiring a professional player from another state. Most recently, it had roped in Mithun Manhas (Delhi) as its player-mentor, later turned coach.

Running out of favour, Pathan was dropped by the Baroda selectors after a couple of Ranji Trophy games last year, and he has not featured in any first-class games since. With JKCA inching closer to seal the deal, Pathan’s first-class cricket career is set to be revived for now.

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