Veteran speedster, Irfan Pathan, is likely to get new responsibilities ahead of the 2018 Ranji Trophy season. After playing for his home team, Baroda, for 17 seasons, Pathan has been approached by the Jammu and Kashmir Cricket Association (JKCA) to lead and mentor the team for the next three years. In addition, the cricket board has also asked the former Indian all-rounder and skipper Kapil Dev to be the head coach of the team.
According to an Indian Express report, JKCA CEO Ashiq Ali Bukhari has confirmed that both Pathan and Kapil Dev were approached and the offers were made at a meeting. On choosing Irfan Pathan to lead the J&K Ranji team, Bukhari said,
“We are searching for a professional player and Irfan was our first choice. He is experienced and an all-rounder as well. His presence will help our boys to enhance their game. Overall, the JKCA is trying to take its cricket to another level. Having these stalwarts will help.”
On the other hand, Kapil Dev’s joining is still not confirmed. As learned from the reports, the former Indian captain has stated that he won’t be available on a full-time basis but willing to conduct short sessions. On approaching Kapil, Bukhari said,
“We have requested Kapil saab to come on board. They both have asked for a few days’ time before taking a final call.”
Irfan Pathan was recently dropped from the Baroda Ranji side despite being named captain and mentor of the team. Uncapped Deepak Hooda replaced him as the skipper in the shorter formats of the game as well. Reports suggest that the left-arm pacer has sought No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Baroda cricket board and is considering the offer from JKCA.
“They [JKCA] wanted to know if I would be interested in joining them for three seasons. I have got my NOC and the JKCA’s offer is good. I will be giving my final decision in a day or two,” IE quoted Pathan as saying.
Pathan, who last played an international match for India in October 2012, has played 29 Tests and 120 ODIs for India and have taken 100 and 173 wickets respectively.