September 22, 2009

Indian cricket

Irfan gets his drive back

ESPNcricinfo staff

Irfan Pathan may have receded to the fringes of Indian cricket but if he’s moping about missing out on the Champions Trophy, his mood has just got better: His brother Yusuf, who has made the trip to South Africa, gave him a Ford SUV for the Eid festival. A report in the Indian Express said their father gave Irfan the car keys on Monday morning, after the traditional prayers. Irfan’s star has dimmed since he first burst on the scene in 2004 but Yusuf has been publicly championing his brother’s cause. In July, shortly after the initial squad for the Champions Trophy was announced, Yusuf offered this sharp comment on Irfan’s exclusion: “Irfan's performance was always up to the mark. He has not been left out because of his performance. Everybody has seen what is happening.” Irfan, who will play in the Irani Cup next week, is slowly returning to centre-stage – maybe the SUV will make that a smoother journey!

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Jayaditya Gupta is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo in India

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