Pathan: ‘J&K can do good things in future’

Ahead of J&K’s Vijay Hazare Trophy clash against Bengal on Thursday, player cum mentor Irfan Pathan clarified that changes in the side may not reflect immediately, but a process has started to improve cricket in the valley.

Jammu and Kashmir's player cum mentor Irfan Pathan felt that the state association is taking careful steps towards bettering the quality of cricket in the region.   -  S.S. Kumar

The BCCI domestic season that starts with Vijay Hazare Trophy on Wednesday will also witness seasoned cricketers turning out for new teams. Irfan Pathan’s story is similar. The India and former Baroda all-rounder is the player cum mentor for Jammu and Kashmir. 

On the eve of J&K’s first match against Bengal at the Sri Sivasubramaniya Nadar College of Engineering Ground here, Pathan clarified that his inclusion will not bring in changes overnight but a process has been started — to scout better players and improve the overall cricket structure in the valley.

“In terms of preparation, I would have liked to have more preparation. We were waiting for the district tournament to finish. This is the first time the association, along with JKCA Chief Executive Officer Aashiq Bukhari, arranged for such a tournament. There were players from 22 districts competing. We wanted that to finish so that we could give opportunity to everyone,” Pathan, who personally monitored a few trials, told Sportstar.

Read: Pathan picks Rohit, Bhuvi as trump cards for Asia Cup

Pathan called for more tournaments and promised results in the coming years. “We played only one tournament before this, but the guys are confident.

“The history of the side hasn’t been good in terms of first-class cricket. But we need to keep that aside and take one step at a time. It is a new team and new challenge for me. We have a skipper in Parvez Rasool who really wants to do well. He has worked hard for the betterment of the team,” he added.

Pathan also stressed on the neccesity of understanding the mindset of the association, which perhaps will help the players in striking a balance. “We are a nice group who wants to achieve nice things. This team can do good things in future. It will take two to three years for us to do something special.

It is a natural process. People who understand cricket know how it goes. If you start now, you may achieve your targets gradually,” he said.

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