Indian Premier League 2010 March 2, 2010

Irfan Pathan to be match-fit for most of IPL

Cricinfo staff

Irfan Pathan, who missed the Vijay Hazare Trophy due to a back strain, expects to be fit in around 20 days. He will recover in time to play for the Kings XI Punjab in the IPL, though he may miss a few of the initial matches.

"I should be match-fit in two to two-and-a-half weeks," Pathan told DNA. "I have a back strain that first troubled me after the Duleep Trophy final."

The IPL begins on March 12 and Kings XI Punjab play their first two games on March 13 and 16. Despite being on course to recover full fitness in time for the World Twenty20, Pathan was not included in the 30-member preliminary squad for the tournament that begins in late April. Pathan, who last played for India in the 2009 World Twenty20, was disappointed with his exclusion, but ruled out any miscommunication over his fitness.

"I went to the National Cricket Academy for my rehabilitation and on February 15 the physio stated that I should be fit in four to six weeks. As I was at the NCA, I believe that the physio would have communicated my fitness status to the Board of Control for Cricket in India," Pathan said. "I don't believe there is a communication problem between me and the BCCI."

"It does feel bad [to be left out of the probables list]. I am going to concentrate on playing at my best. Cricket is my life but I need to understand that this is also part and parcel of the game. The IPL is a great opportunity for me to perform well. I may miss one or two IPL matches but I should be fully fit for the rest for Kings XI Punjab."

Pathan was confident of making a comeback to the Indian team in time for the World Cup in 2011. "It is still a long way away. I am looking forward to be part of the World Cup team. Injuries have let me down but hopefully I should be at my peak during the IPL."