Pumped-up Irfan relishes regained fitness

Towering pacer confident of ‘single-handedly’ winning matches in 2015 World Cup.

Our Correspondent/afp June 03, 2014
Irfan revealed that he has been bowling in two half-hour sessions as he continues to regain his fitness after coming back from injury. PHOTO: REUTERS


The world’s tallest cricketer, Mohammad Irfan, said on Tuesday that he could win matches at next year’s World Cup single-handedly, after regaining full fitness from a hip bone injury which had sidelined him for six months.

Irfan, who is seven-feet and one-inch tall, was speaking at a training camp in Lahore following his long lay-off.

“I am feeling completely fit and of course the target is to win the World Cup for Pakistan,” said Irfan, who turns 32 on Friday.

“It’s a big event, every player feels honoured to play it. In Australia, pitches are very bouncy and are suitable for me and obviously I have a height factor and I can do well.

“If I manage to sustain my fitness 100%, I will be able to win matches single-handedly.”

The lanky pacer was injured during the T20 series against South Africa in November last year in Dubai, missing Pakistan’s series against Sri Lanka, tour to South Africa, Asia Cup and the World Twenty20.

Irfan said it was disappointing to miss six months of cricket, but said he would strive to avoid further injuries.

“I am working hard on my fitness and I am ensuring this time that I should go a long way,” he said.

Irfan broke into the national team in 2010 at the relatively late age of 28 but has so far played just four Tests, 27 ODIs and seven T20s.

“I know I have to manage my workload and playing Tests is an added pressure, hence I decided to play T20 and one-dayers only. I have to get myself tied up for a longer run this time and will ensure that I don’t get dropped.”

The selectors are not likely to take a chance on Irfan for their August tour of Sri Lanka, with the all-important series against Australia in the UAE in October-November a more realistic target for a comeback.

Pakistan then play New Zealand in the UAE, and tour New Zealand for a short limited over series before the World Cup in 2015.

‘Missing World Twenty20 was devastating’

The left-arm fast-bowler further added that he was devastated after missing out on the back-to-back events of the Asia Cup and the World Twenty20, but his family supported him during the tough phase.

“I was down after missing out on the World Twenty20 and Asian Cup simultaneously, but my family and friends stood by me during that tough period,” said Irfan.

“Now I’m working harder than ever to make sure that such injuries don’t happen again and I remain fit for the upcoming World Cup in Australia.”

Published in The Express Tribune, June 4th, 2014.

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Punjab | 7 years ago | Reply

All those people above saying he got big ego should keep in mind that he is Fast bowler and i fully agree that fast bowler should have big ego because that's what make them bend their back and put 100%...its all about attitude..

The Economist | 7 years ago | Reply

Being positive is good but he seems to have lot of ego and over confidence. Anyways best of luck

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