Bought for a hefty 1.9 million US dollars by Delhi in January’s player auction, Irfan Pathan is tickled pink at the confidence shown in him by his new franchise ahead of the 2011 Indian Premier League.
Not retained by the Kings XI Punjab after three successful seasons with them, the 26-year-old all-rounder’s status as the third highest wicket-taker in the IPL’s history was more than enough to convince the Daredevils to recruit him. The appreciative seamer is confident he will repay their faith across the fourth edition of the lucrative Twenty20 event.
“It’s good to be part of this team, I never expected in the auction that I would be picked at such a price and I really would like to thank the management and coaching staff, who bid for me and obviously had the confidence in me,” Pathan told the Daredevils official website.
“Delhi Daredevils has been a very successful team in the past and I will do my best to live up the expectations of the team and the fans.
The 107-ODI veteran last played for India in early 2008 before a series of injury worries and general lack of form led to his omission from the limited-overs and Test set-up. Two years and a comfortable fitness regime later, Pathan is ready relaunch his career, starting with his stint at Delhi.
Initially it was all about regaining my fitness so I’m bowling with the aim to achieve the fitness levels that I had before and more. I bowl five to seven overs daily at a stretch and am feeling really good about myself right now,” he added.
“I of course keep practicing the bouncer and slower ball bouncers which are crucial deliveries in a T20 match.”
Although the Daredevils have lost Gautam Gambhir to the Kolkata Knight Riders and Tillakaratne Dilshan and AB de Villiers to the Deccan Chargers, Irfan is looking forward to stars like Virender Sehwag, David Warner, Aaron Finch and a host of young Indian talent coming to the party.
“I think it’s a fantastic squad for big names on the top, with Virender and Warner and certainly Aaron Finch, who looks to be the next big thing out of Australia. We also have a couple of really fast bowlers in Ashok Dinda, Varun Aaron. Unmukt Chand is a player to watch out for. He’s only 17 and has a lot of talent for a kid in his first season of domestic cricket. I’ve seen him play and I think he’s a fantastic prospect for the future,” concluded Pathan.
Delhi get their IPL campaign underway against Mumbai on Sunday. Cricket365