The speculations about Irfan Pathan’s joining the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) coaching panel has now come to an end, as the JKCA on Friday appointed former Indian all-rounder as the coach-cum-mentor of the senior side for the 2018-19 season.
According to a report in PTI, JKCA CEO Aashiq Bukhari confirmed Pathan’s association, “He will be the coach-cum-mentor of our team for a period of one year.”
On 30 March, Pathan interacted with the young cricketers at the Sher-e-Kashmir Cricket Stadium, hoping to make a difference in the cricketing scene in the state.
However, the all-rounder will be mainly working with the Ranji Trophy side, but he insists that he will travel to the districts to interact with youngsters and try to bring out more talents.
The Baroda cricketer told Sportstar, “It was a great experience meeting the young players. They are excited about their game, and I sincerely hope to make a difference in the cricketing scene in Jammu and Kashmir. I had other lucrative offers, but I chose Jammu and Kashmir. I hope to make it count and do something for the game here. I will interact with youngsters and try to bring out more talents.”
On being asked what forced him to leave Baroda, the 33-year-old replied, “As an organization, Baroda Cricket Association (BCA) has given me everything. Irfan became Irfan because of the association, but things were going out the hand. There was a different yardstick for different players. I didn’t want to play just as a cricketer, and wanted to play the mentor role, too, but I was restricted. It’s better to leave without any animosity.”
Meanwhile, legendary all-rounder and former Indian skipper –Kapil Dev was offered to join the side as a coach, but he refused to be a full-time coach of JKCA, though he agreed to train the side in few sessions and, Pathan is looking forward to working with the legend.
Irfan signed off by saying, “It will be a pleasure working with paaji. I met him a couple of months ago and he advised me to take up this job. I am glad I took it.”