KARACHI: Pakistan paceman Muhammad Irfan aims to make an impression both on the field at the World Cup as well as off it, which isn't hard for a man who stands at seven feet one inch.
"I know people notice me because of my height and I always try to oblige them by posing for a photograph," said Irfan.
"I will be ready to pose with fans in Australia and New Zealand but will remain focused on my job — to bowl my team to victories until we win the World Cup."
When Irfan toured South Africa with the Pakistan team early in 2013, fans were desperate to have a photo with the tallest-ever international cricketer.
"It was big fun," remembers 32-year-old Irfan. "I had no qualms as I am very down to earth and when people request a photo, wanting to compare their height against mine it becomes more fun for me."
On the field, however, Irfan's top priority remains to unsettle batsman. "It [the World Cup] is a big event and every player has a desire to play," said Irfan. "I want to do what Wasim Akram did for Pakistan in the 1992 World Cup."
Wasim anchored Pakistan's only World Cup title in Australia and New Zealand 23 years ago, finishing as the player of the tournament with 18 wickets.
Pakistan captain Misbahul Haq is confident that Irfan can provide the X-factor on the fast, bouncy tracks of Australia.
"Saeed Ajmal's absence has weakened our bowling," said Misbah of the ace off-spinner who had to withdraw from the event because of an illegal bowling action. "But I am confident that with his height, Irfan can be the X-factor for us."
Irfan knows his strengths which come as a result of his imposing size.
"It feels good that I perform for Pakistan. It's my greatest desire to do well for Pakistan so that people remember me with good words when I finish my career."
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