Former India all-rounder, Irfan Pathan decided to retire from all forms of cricket, announcing his decision to do so earlier today. Pathan, who burst onto the scene as a promising left-arm swing bowler, last turned out for India in 2012.

“I will keep contributing to Indian cricket but it is always better if someone else takes my place in domestic cricket, there are a lot of other things in store for me and I will keep focusing on them,” Irfan Pathan said in a show aired on Star Sports.

Pathan made his debut for the Baroda team during the 2000-2001 season, and performed so well that he was fast-tracked to an India Test debut in 2003 against Australia at Adelaide.

The crowning moment of his Test career came against Pakistan in 2006. Playing at Karachi, Irfan Pathan became the first Indian bowler to take a hat-trick in the first innings of a Test when he dismissed Salman Butt, Younus Khan and Mohammad Yousuf off consecutive balls.

“That was a memorable moment for me, would have been even better if we had won the game. I remember being confident about picking the third wicket because Yousuf was kind of a bunny for me. I knew if I swung it in, I could trap him leg before. I did swing in in and it went on to hit the stumps, so I was very happy,” he revealed.

Pathan was beset by injuries for large parts of his career due to which he also lost quite a bit of pace and swing because of which his career tapered off later. However, his all-round skills made him a very valuable asset to the India side, as he was even sent up the order a few times.

He also played a key part in India’s win in the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007, producing a superb performance in the final, where he was crowned ‘Man of the Match’ for his 3-16 off four overs.

Feature image courtesy: AFP / Manjunath Kiran