January 28, 2013

'My height was an advantage but I didn't know how to use it'

Mohammad Irfan had a hard life before he took up cricket professionally. Now he's determined to make it better for himself and his family
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Mohammad Irfan, the 7ft 1in fast bowler, is a product of rural Pakistan, and comes from the small town of Gaggu Mandi, which produced another tall former Pakistan quick, Mohammad Zahid. Irfan is possibly the tallest known cricketer in the world today, beating England county players Anthony Allom, Paul Dunkels and Will Jefferson, who were all 6ft 10in. Irfan spoke to ESPNcricinfo about his journey from a PVC factory to the Pakistan dressing room.

We've heard about you working in a plastic factory in the past.
I was born into a poor family. In lower-class families, we usually quit studying to start working early. In my case, I completed my secondary education because I had six brothers who were already working. But after completing my matriculation, I also joined the factory.

We belong to a labour-class family, and this is what my father and his father did. I have two sisters and five brothers. One of my brothers died some ten years back, and I am the youngest but the tallest of all. If it hadn't been for the support of my mentor Nadeem Iqbal, I might still be working in the factory and living an anonymous life.

How difficult has your life been?
To be honest, I had started enjoying my routine at the PVC factory. I had been promoted to the role of a foreman. I had accepted the fact that I had cricket in my life, but only for entertainment. I was earning enough money for myself and my family. I wanted to earn a respectable livelihood. I dreamt of playing at the national level, but that's a dream every amateur cricketer has.

How did you get into cricket? And what does it mean to you to be the tallest cricketer?
It took nearly a decade to find a real purpose for my height. I don't know if playing cricket is the best I can do with it, but I am comfortable and I am working hard to give myself a new life. Representing your country is a dream every child has, but only a few are able to convert their dreams into reality. I am one of them. Playing at the national level is not about money, it's about the honour.

I started playing cricket with a tennis ball but was always attracted to hard-ball cricket. I joined a cricket club in my village. I used to play in shalwar kameez and school shoes, because I didn't have cricket shoes or trousers and shirts. In fact, I had never worn those. I managed to find a pair of cricket shoes with the help of my friends.

How did you start to develop in cricket?
It was only after I joined Khan Research Laboratory (KRL). I was relatively late to cricket. People started taking me seriously only after I came into first-class cricket. Before that I was a very raw cricketer. My height was obviously an advantage but I didn't know how to use it.

I was uncertain about my future till 2008. I met various stars at the National Cricket Academy and then I realised that I was exceptional. Aaqib Javed [the former Pakistan fast bowler, who was then a bowling coach at the NCA] gave me a plan and worked hard with me, and I finally made it to first-class cricket in 2009. I went wicketless in my first match, against Pakistan International Airlines, but picked up nine in the second, against Habib Bank Limited. That boosted my confidence. I bowled nearly 350 overs at an average of 29 that season and realised that I had to work a lot on my pace, swing and, most importantly, my fitness.

Who taught you how to bowl?
No one did, but a lot of people helped me improve. I got tips from Aaqib, Nadeem and Wasim Akram - they all contributed to my development. I used to play with a tennis ball, simply swinging my arms hard to bowl fast. I have my own bowling action, which is simple, and I am comfortable with it. Nobody actually tried to alter it.

In Pakistan cricket, generally, if you are talented, nobody can stop you rising through the ranks. You made your first-class debut at 27. Where have you been since?
I was afraid of risking my livelihood for cricket, because I had no contact to lead me through. I felt that if I left my job for cricket, my family could suffer. It took me nearly five years to get noticed in Lahore [by the PCB]. Nobody really pays attention to the small towns, where there are hugely talented cricketers who aren't able to rise to the top. They are obviously raw but they can flourish once they get proper facilities. Players from the small villages are mentally tough, hugely motivated, and their passion to play for the country is pure.

"Nobody really pays attention to the small towns where there are hugely talented cricketers who aren't able to rise to the top. They are obviously raw but they can flourish once they get proper facilities"

You were offered a contract with the Kolkata Knight Riders.
Yes, Wasim Akram recommended me. I went to Sri Lanka for the trials and bowled very well there. I didn't concede more than 11 runs in my spell of four overs and took at least three wickets in every match I played. Dav Whatmore [Kolkata Knight riders coach then and now Pakistan's coach] was there at the time. He liked my bowling and accepted me. But, unfortunately Pakistani players were barred from the league. Later I got selected for the Pakistan A team and then for the national team touring England.

You won't have pleasant memories of your ODI debut, against England, having gone for 15 runs in your first over. What went wrong? You had done well in Sri Lanka for the A team. Did the pressure of international cricket overwhelm you?
Everything happened so quickly. I was playing in the heat of Sri Lanka and doing well there, but I wasn't able to adjust to the conditions in England. I couldn't cope and crumbled under the pressure. I lost all coordination between my mind and body. It was tough, and I honestly had no control over anything. I think it was early for me and I realised it. The premature debut pushed me back to where I had started.

How hard was it to reconcile to a poor debut?
It was obviously nerve-wracking. I thought I was done. There were people around me supporting and backing me, but I was worried about my first outing being a flop. I felt I wouldn't be selected again.

I learnt a lot and understood that height isn't the only factor I should rely on at the international level. I had to work harder than before - more gym work, more training and more bowling practice, with lengthy spells. Eventually I returned to the domestic circuit to play more cricket and gain experience.

International cricket demands a high standard of fitness. I am not super-fit yet but I have improved since 2010. In my second debut, against India, there was a clear difference.

In India, you kept the batsmen on their toes, but Junaid Khan and Saeed Ajmal took most of the wickets.
I was given a plan to bowl at the right line and length, and I did fairly well. My coach and captain wanted me to maintain the dominance with the ball and keep the batsmen on the back foot. They wanted me to be focused on bowling in the right areas rather than pushing hard to take wickets.

You are now in the Test squad for South Africa. Are you ready for Test cricket?
I am positive about it. It will be another exciting challenge for me. I did well in India, where the pitches aren't really helpful to a fast bowler. I am optimistic about my success in Test cricket. I have a great support staff working with me. They know my limitations and will use me accordingly. I have played a lot of first-class cricket and bowled lengthy spells, so I believe I can do well in Test cricket as well.

Where do you see yourself in Pakistan cricket?
I am currently in Pakistan's plans for all three formats. I can't predict my future but as long as I am performing, I will remain in the team. I have not set myself any big targets at the moment. The immediate target is to establish myself.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Z-Niazi on | January 29, 2013, 23:16 GMT

    If Irfan stays as humble as he sounds in this interview, I believe he would not only make an impact on Pakistani Cricket but in the International arena as well. As long as he understands his limitations and weaknesses, he has an excellent opportunity to learn and improve.

  • POSTED BY javed.agrawala on | January 28, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    His success is in his humility. Truly touching! Irfan--work on your fitness as you can become a far bigger asset than right now. World of cricket is richer for your presence!

  • POSTED BY davidatlas999 on | January 28, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    great to know you more.irfan bowl fast with this kind of bounce you will be known a good bowler in future.dont worry about critics they are doing their job you need to do your job get wickets for pakistan we all love you. What i loving about this team they didnt have any super star they dont need a superstar they need some team men. Hope for you future enjoy the moment.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    Bid deal he's a big man, there are also disadvantages with being so tall, the more tall you are the more slow and less stamina you have. Pakistan are a declining team whether they win or lose against South Africa will see the downhill of Pakistan Cricket after that series just watch :P

  • POSTED BY Always_pakistan on | January 30, 2013, 22:20 GMT

    God bless you mohammad irfan

  • POSTED BY kabe_ag7 on | January 30, 2013, 3:39 GMT

    Heart-warming to see youngsters from smaller/rural places or humble background in subcontinent coming and making their mark at the international level. The young Indian duo of Shami Ahmed and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar are also similar examples.

  • POSTED BY Syed_imran_abbas on | January 29, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    Wish you good luck big fella... i hope you do well against South Africa. There is alot to learn for guys like Aamir & Asif from him. Aamir & asif were just too unthankful.. and they still are.

  • POSTED BY uzairamir on | January 29, 2013, 21:31 GMT

    i would really be sad if mohammad irfan doesnt succeed

  • POSTED BY uzairamir on | January 29, 2013, 21:24 GMT

    i think that irfan is fit for test cricket as he plays 4 day cricket and i havent heard any injury problems there.

  • POSTED BY drtrinileggie on | January 29, 2013, 21:08 GMT

    wonderful example of humility hard work and dedication to family. This should be the role model and not LIKE A CERTAIN AUSTRALIAN LEGSPINNER!!!!

  • POSTED BY Z-Niazi on | January 29, 2013, 23:16 GMT

    If Irfan stays as humble as he sounds in this interview, I believe he would not only make an impact on Pakistani Cricket but in the International arena as well. As long as he understands his limitations and weaknesses, he has an excellent opportunity to learn and improve.

  • POSTED BY javed.agrawala on | January 28, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    His success is in his humility. Truly touching! Irfan--work on your fitness as you can become a far bigger asset than right now. World of cricket is richer for your presence!

  • POSTED BY davidatlas999 on | January 28, 2013, 5:18 GMT

    great to know you more.irfan bowl fast with this kind of bounce you will be known a good bowler in future.dont worry about critics they are doing their job you need to do your job get wickets for pakistan we all love you. What i loving about this team they didnt have any super star they dont need a superstar they need some team men. Hope for you future enjoy the moment.

  • POSTED BY on | January 31, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    Bid deal he's a big man, there are also disadvantages with being so tall, the more tall you are the more slow and less stamina you have. Pakistan are a declining team whether they win or lose against South Africa will see the downhill of Pakistan Cricket after that series just watch :P

  • POSTED BY Always_pakistan on | January 30, 2013, 22:20 GMT

    God bless you mohammad irfan

  • POSTED BY kabe_ag7 on | January 30, 2013, 3:39 GMT

    Heart-warming to see youngsters from smaller/rural places or humble background in subcontinent coming and making their mark at the international level. The young Indian duo of Shami Ahmed and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar are also similar examples.

  • POSTED BY Syed_imran_abbas on | January 29, 2013, 21:41 GMT

    Wish you good luck big fella... i hope you do well against South Africa. There is alot to learn for guys like Aamir & Asif from him. Aamir & asif were just too unthankful.. and they still are.

  • POSTED BY uzairamir on | January 29, 2013, 21:31 GMT

    i would really be sad if mohammad irfan doesnt succeed

  • POSTED BY uzairamir on | January 29, 2013, 21:24 GMT

    i think that irfan is fit for test cricket as he plays 4 day cricket and i havent heard any injury problems there.

  • POSTED BY drtrinileggie on | January 29, 2013, 21:08 GMT

    wonderful example of humility hard work and dedication to family. This should be the role model and not LIKE A CERTAIN AUSTRALIAN LEGSPINNER!!!!

  • POSTED BY dmqi on | January 29, 2013, 19:27 GMT

    I hope Amir gets a 2nd chance to come back and play with this guy under Misbah. Amir came from poor background too but was wrongly used by a crooked captain. Talents need to be groomed in the proper way.Long live cricket among the have nots.

  • POSTED BY Scheduler on | January 29, 2013, 18:29 GMT

    Truly an inspirational one for people from underprivileged areas. It is is his sheer determination and hardwork and not just his physical attributes .God blessed him with a good height and he was willing to put in the yards to reach the national level.He may not have the years on his side to have a long career but am sure even if he is able to play for 5 years he will stamp his presence in the international cricketing fraternity. AM AN INDIAN AND AM HAPPY TO SEE A GOOD HARDWORKING CRICKETER IN IRFAN

    P.S - My fellow Indians respect this individual for who he is and stop putting STUPID IRRELEVANT COMMENTS which does not make any sense

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2013, 17:26 GMT

    Very good read. It was great to get a little insight in Irfan's background. People who come from humble backgrounds always have more desire to succeed once given the opportunity and show everyone in the world that they are not behind from anyone else. Irfan is a great talent and he can play cricket for another 5 - 6 years if he stays fit. He will gain more experience and ability at the intl. level. He has a huge opportunity to prove his metal against SA. I wish him all the best in the future. Hopefully he can become one of the greats in world cricket.

  • POSTED BY Surajdon9 on | January 29, 2013, 17:22 GMT

    God Bless You Irfan.all the very very best for your Upcoming futures...Really Good nice emotional inspirational interview...

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2013, 16:22 GMT

    heart felt story. wish him luck and i hope he ll earn his part of respect in cricketing world:)

  • POSTED BY Saj_80 on | January 29, 2013, 15:21 GMT

    Well Done Irfan!.. I like your attitude and humility. A lesson from other bowlers who try ever so hard to be a bully, without having half of the presence as Irfan on the field. As the saying goes, showing attitude "Barham" doesn't add inches to your "Bat", Its our wits that makes us men!!!

  • POSTED BY Aragorn_11 on | January 29, 2013, 14:33 GMT

    Wow...amazing read and interview....Mash'Allah, there are still "believe in dream" stories today...all 7 foot 1 inch of them!!! Never give up, any of you....as long as what you do is good and productive....but never forget your family or your roots...Disney have to write up this guy's movie!!

  • POSTED BY Naseer_shah on | January 29, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    @counterstrike1.6 Always Negative views and post your comment against Pakistan is your specialty or What ... This is a mere interview . Please take it lightly .Yup Wasim akram born for once only just like Viv Richards and Brian Lara ... I hope you understand my point ...

  • POSTED BY khankijaan on | January 29, 2013, 12:28 GMT

    from a PAkistani fan : thanx to all the indian fans for appreciating this talented bowler...i hope indo-PAk cricket goes on ..all i can say is that without indo-PAk cricket ,world of cricket cant be all that beautiful...its time to burry the hatchet and start admiring the talent....

  • POSTED BY dmqi on | January 29, 2013, 11:49 GMT

    Great story of success from financially and educationally poor background. I like your attitude more than most other success stories of talented players of Pakistan. Do not grow long hair, do not use hair band, do not grow funny looking hair under the lip. Just be simple and work hard. I am sure your age in not a problem, look at Sayed Ajmal, he is there. Keep in mind the name Mohammad Amir and his captain Butt. You are under a good Captain too, take full advantage of that.

  • POSTED BY on | January 29, 2013, 11:38 GMT

    If he maintains his fitness he can play for 5 more years. Good to see that natural talent like Irfan moving up the ranks to the national team, even though a bit late. And yeah, how do you guys manage to find bowlers like these? ;)

  • POSTED BY ZsZs on | January 29, 2013, 4:41 GMT

    Heart warming story! I hope you go far in your dreams Irfan. I saw you against India - the venom you and Junaid had! Made me fall in love with bowling attacks all over again. My heartfelt best wishes to you.

  • POSTED BY Rahulbose on | January 29, 2013, 3:13 GMT

    I can't help but look at someone like Mohammad Irfan and wonder how Pakistan keeps finding such naturally gifted fast bowlers. Even WI has stopped finding such talent. The interview also was very touching as it highlighted how hard it is for players in Pakistan in current situation. For cricket's sake I pray Pakistan will get past the current violence and keep showcasing speed merchants on the cricket field. As an Indian fan, I am reminded of the Onida advertisements "Neighbors envy owners pride".

  • POSTED BY tonobwoy on | January 29, 2013, 2:40 GMT

    Irfan you should study videos of Joel Garner's bowling.

  • POSTED BY SureshAmsterdam on | January 29, 2013, 2:28 GMT

    I agree with Venkat_Super_11. A talented, hardworking cricketer is an asset to the game, regardless of whether he's from India, Pakistan, or any other country. Mohd Irfan sounds like a humble, nice man who wants to do well for his country. As a Team India fan I want to see him at his best, bowling to our young talented batsmen and making them fight for their runs and wickets. I wish him success at the highest level in every format of the game.

  • POSTED BY PadMarley on | January 29, 2013, 2:26 GMT

    I hope Pakistan can shake the south Africans.. I also hope this guy can play a huge role in that... World of cricket needs Pakistan, and Pakistan needs world of cricket!!

  • POSTED BY AvidCricFan on | January 29, 2013, 2:20 GMT

    Wish him success. At almost 31 years, he may not have many years left to perform at the highest level. Hope he achieves whatever he can from now.

  • POSTED BY CandidIndian on | January 29, 2013, 2:10 GMT

    Nice to read success stories like these.Being born in a poor family and after working the the factory you get picked up by national team and you do well against your arch rivals in high profile series, so far so good.All the best mate,from India.

  • POSTED BY omar_choudhary on | January 29, 2013, 0:21 GMT

    The most awaited scene in this SA v Pak Test Series: Mohammad Irfan to Morkel: 4 Slips, a gully, Irfan runs in bowls a well directed bouncer, 145.6k, and Morkel slaps it straight into the air, onto the stumps.

  • POSTED BY jhelumrawalpindi on | January 28, 2013, 22:47 GMT

    wow what a heart worming story

  • POSTED BY Iknownothing on | January 28, 2013, 20:42 GMT

    What a TRUE HERO! He will have a great opportunity when he makes his debut, playing against the test champions on wickets that will suit him.

  • POSTED BY PkRules on | January 28, 2013, 19:11 GMT

    People need to understand that this is not about India or Pakistan, and refrain from making rubbish comments. This is about a person from a labor class family who made it to international cricket with his hard work and passion. Hats off to you Irfan! You are such a humble man. Just keep working hard and never forget your past...those who do, the future forgets them.

  • POSTED BY realfan on | January 28, 2013, 18:26 GMT

    @KiwiRocker stop whining about 2011 worldcup as its special balls, DRS, 65 meters boundary..... balls will be provided by ICC and i dont think ICC will favour india at any point of time ....and 65 meters boundary, dont you think other teams play on the same ground....and DRS india had most of the wrong decisions against them even with DRS ( STRAUSS, BELL, KULASHEKARA) can you name 1 decision which went in India favour.... so instead of saying real cricket bla bla bla..... i know pakisthan won in 1992... and i respect for that....its just as you said give respect where its due.....

    and in this article you had no need of bringing 2011 world cup issue..... cricinfo publish....

  • POSTED BY WeeBee on | January 28, 2013, 17:53 GMT

    When i first saw him in National Cricket Academy, i was amazed and i was shocled why PCB or Selectors are not picking this TALLEST MAN ON EARTH OF CRICKET. Well i think they are taking their time to polish his skills. ! ... Keep it up Irfan

  • POSTED BY mothanvi on | January 28, 2013, 17:50 GMT

    I think Irfan should only focus on one-day and T-20 cricket as his fitness does not suit Test cricket.With an adroit guidance and persistent hard work he can prove to be an asset to the side.

  • POSTED BY sweetspot on | January 28, 2013, 16:38 GMT

    @keptalittlelow - Great news for the entire world of cricket, my friend. It is wonderful to see success stories, and even more to see chaps with humility seeing success. Not that brash characters also cannot be interesting - the world throws up all kinds of people and we should just enjoy whatever they contribute. Even though some people are here just to pick fights and throw in negative energy, we can celebrate and wish well of any cricketer getting well deserved rewards with a lovely attitude. Kudos Irfan!

  • POSTED BY OptimusPrimal on | January 28, 2013, 16:30 GMT

    Seems like a very nice person. InshAllah he will be in Pakistan team for a long time and take many wickets.

  • POSTED BY Venkat_Super_11 on | January 28, 2013, 16:24 GMT

    @ IndiaChampspakchumps and @ RAJEESHKUMAR, how pathetic you guys are!! I am a hardcore Indian cricket fan but more than that, I am an unwavering fan of the cricket game. I would like my country to win all games against all oppositions (as every country supporter does). But what relation do your comments have to this article? And why this unnecessary hatred on others? After all, this article on a very humble cricketer should be an eye-opener to all. But your comments have just exposed your real inner heart. Tell me frankly. Did this read on this poor guy make you feel for him even for a moment? If not, you cannot be humans. Nor can you support any game, let alone cricket. Irfan, if you ever get to read all these comments, please do not get any bad comments to your heart. I wish you all the best and make use of your available time to add victory to cricket. I am sure you will be a big achiever of feat. May God bless you and also forgive these innocent Indian critics. You are born to win

  • POSTED BY sweetspot on | January 28, 2013, 16:03 GMT

    Very exciting talent here, no doubt. Lucky to see him in action against India recently. My two prayers for him - May he stay out of injury and out of any other off-field troubles. I would love to see him have a long career and trouble batsmen all over the world.

  • POSTED BY teamxxx on | January 28, 2013, 15:44 GMT

    a blend of fresh air from no where (IRFAN).You really hit the deck man,well when i saw him in his debut match he looked so lethargic and was'nt having best of fitness.and i really thought that he will never be a part of national side after this flop show,but his passion for cricket n hard working with improved fitness gave him another chance and that was against the arch rivals INDIA(A real pressure series for someone who is struggling for a place in a side),there he showed us his bowling skills and impressed every critic of him.but the sad thing is that he is having very little time as a fast bowler might be two years or three years,he has lost most of his time in PVC pipe factory (its really a shame for a system),i hope he will remain fit for remaining of his career which is quite difficult coz a person of that height always have problems while fielding,so in my opinion he really needs to work very hard to maintain his fitness level,anyways best of luck irfan n PAKISTAN

  • POSTED BY Desihungama on | January 28, 2013, 12:57 GMT

    Can't we have India-Pakistan Dosti for a while? And People, Be polite and stop responding to comments from either side that are really unnecessary. As for M. irfan, he is exactly the dose Pakistan Cricket needs and more of that. This is a first Pak team instead of collection of individual stars. way to go Misbah. Also, he is not that mean as he made himself out to be in Indian-Pak series. And congrats to India on their series win. Now, when can we play IPL?

  • POSTED BY WAKE_UP_CALL on | January 28, 2013, 11:47 GMT

    Jessica Savitch said "For every two minutes of glamour, there are eight hours of hard work."irfan is a phenomenal example of a man who was brought up in a remote land with less opportunities to relish his dreams surrounded by psychological load of meeting financial requirements.though he made it late but its a journey from a factory worker to a national player.he has already made an impact in world cricket to make his family proud and can now just enjoy whatever challenge comes at his face.this article was necessary to make sure people don't look at him as a beast but as a human who has fought the demons that a common man goes through.its great to see comments from @usama khan @yaseer but also shame to see that again and again @kiwirocker finds a excuse to have potshots at india,get a life man.this @champs guy has a username which no indian would have and plus no indian would comment unnecessary like this on this article.are you so naive.good luck to irfan from india.

  • POSTED BY keptalittlelow on | January 28, 2013, 11:41 GMT

    Its great to know a person from a humble background still puts national honour ahead of money. I am sure GOD willing Irfan is destined to succeed, which is a great news for Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY Porky_PigTheToon on | January 28, 2013, 11:33 GMT

    Interesting Guy. Well Mohd. Irfan's height gives him an undue advantage. Considering the fact that he is already 31 and is likely to get injured, I don't think he can be pakistan's Next Akram as some of the pak fans have been claiming.

  • POSTED BY ObjectiveCricketism on | January 28, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    Mohammad Irfan is a breath of fresh air in a cricket world full of egos and love of money. May he terrorise the world's leading batsmen and prove successful in all three formats of the game.

  • POSTED BY highly_unpluged on | January 28, 2013, 11:19 GMT

    Graceful attitude Muhammad Irfan, A guy, who once have to decide to select between his job or cricket, how much stress contains in that decision, one could imagine belonging to a below average background.

  • POSTED BY icknid on | January 28, 2013, 10:12 GMT

    @USAMA KHAN - couldn't agree with you more. When you read this and numerous other blogs like I do, then it becomes really tiresome when the messages are disrespectful to players of other nations. The game of cricket is far more important than historical bitterness. As an Indian supporter, of course I would like to see my team win. But I appreciate high class cricket, and watching Irfan bowl is thrilling to all true cricket fans. Good luck to him.

  • POSTED BY KiwiRocker- on | January 28, 2013, 9:33 GMT

    IndiaChampspakchumps: I take your point and I being a NZ born and bred fully believe that winning is what matters but you made your own fool with your comment. Pakistan has a record of 71-49 in ODI's against India and 12-9 in test matches. Is not that winning? World cup is not the only thing in world! If you judge teams based on world cup performances then Pak even lost to India in 1992 but they won the real thing! Small battles do not mean anything in bigger context! This article is about Muhammad Irfan. He is a very talented man who has struggled hard to make his way up in life. Give a credit where it is due. In India you hype every second bowler as your next savious but it never eventuates, Yadevs's Kumars, Sreesanths, Pathans have come and gone!Look at what you folks have done to Bhuneshvar kUmar and Shami! They were decent against Pak but got 4 and 5 wickets each in 5 ODI against England at average of 40 and 60! Is that good..Its rubbish! Stop hating and make relevent comments!

  • POSTED BY KiwiRocker- on | January 28, 2013, 9:29 GMT

    RajeshKumar: What is point of rankings when one can not win anything? Make some sense. Pakistan has third best win/loss ratio in entire world in test cricket after Australia and SA. Just because India played a lot of home test matches with special cricket balls! Do your research before making silly remarks. What exactly has India achieved in world cups? Pakistan won the best and most toughest WC ever in 1992. India won a fulke show in 1983 ( they were not the best team and world knows that). And In 2011, lets even do not talk about biased DRS decisions and special crieckt balls and 65 M boundaries. Chum: Pakistan has just hammered your world cup winning team in front of your home crowd in presence of your umpires. Be gracious in defeat! Learn from 2804991. This article is aout Muhammad Irfan! One has to feel for him the way man has struggled to earn his living. He is not from a blessed background and admire his talent. Just because India can not produce fast bowlerst, stop hating!

  • POSTED BY vedichitesh on | January 28, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    Nice boy ..... but found very late ..... he is 30 plus ..... and with such height and body fitness will be a challenge. Hope he can play at least for 5 years more..... Tallest Cricketer of all time is very down to earth. His humility and attitude will take him places......

  • POSTED BY goliwala on | January 28, 2013, 9:06 GMT

    It truly is a treat to hear about someone so humble and patriotic from Pakistan. I am his fan now. Irfan, please teach your team mates to play for the country, not self..

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2013, 8:57 GMT

    @RAJEESHKUMAR, lets see,, tell me whats a disgrace ODI matches played between Pakistan and India are 124 Pakistan Won 71 , India Won 49 since when India is claiming superiority over Pakistan?

  • POSTED BY heartbreakerz on | January 28, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    RAJEESHKUMAR...cricket isn't only about wc. cricket happens throughout the year while wc comes once every 4 yrs...winning only in wc doesn't mean anything, if u r good then u should win consistently n the overall ind-pak stats show which team has won more often

  • POSTED BY ReverseSwingMaster on | January 28, 2013, 8:32 GMT

    "Playing at the national level is not about money, it's about the honour." Great thinking brother, I hope rest of your teammates should understand that.

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2013, 8:26 GMT

    what i want to say here is that we all should appreciate the talent without racism or jingoism.I was very interested in Umesh when he came on the screen,hope ppl like him come more in Indian team.Good luck to Irfan @28041991 thanks for proving that spirit. @Yaseen good from you to apologize.

  • POSTED BY RAJEESHKUMAR on | January 28, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    Yaseen Haider , but despite producing the so called genuine fast bowler, India achieved greater results than any other team except australia. 2 50 over world cups, One 20-20 cup and many other odi trophies, number 1 position achieved in test. With genuineness of fast bowlers overflowing, pak could not beat india in any of odi wc matches. dis......grace isnt it?

  • POSTED BY Zahidsaltin on | January 28, 2013, 7:40 GMT

    Irfan lacks in swing. He should work even harder to perfect his incoming delivery.

  • POSTED BY Zahidsaltin on | January 28, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    @Indiachamppakchamps, winning india in a worldcup is something "not to be" because it is not cricket which decide them. Over all pakistan has won twice as many matches against India as india did but in worlscups it is not gonna happen. Even if he get batsmen like Tandulkar, Dravid, Inzi, Saeed Anwer, yousef and bowlers like Wasim, Waqar, Saqlain and Ajmal , its not gonna happen. Indian money is too big for players who get born in a corrupt culture.

  • POSTED BY realfan on | January 28, 2013, 7:30 GMT

    @IndiaChampspakchumps dude no need to bring india issue here...ofcourse they have not done good against india in world cup but we indians have not done good against them except world cup matches..... give credit to hard working people... he is just like our umesh yadhav ...

    as an indian i personally dislike these kind of comments in irrelevant articles..... dont shame indians by posting irrelevant coments in irrelevant articles, unlike many who do that we indians should not do that.....

    great story.... i think he will go far in test if he is fit to bowl for longer spells... i think pakisthan found real good prospect and they should use him wisely.....

    likes from india....

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    @ collosalcricketer, i apologise , i said that in the heat of the moment, i should have directed my frustration towards this indiaChamp only and not towards the whole nation

  • POSTED BY Pathiyal on | January 28, 2013, 7:17 GMT

    despite being so tall, he seemed to be particular in keeping a low profile for himself. that's what i saw in his indian tour. also found him well disciplined. i thought it was a wonderful start for a new cricketer.

  • POSTED BY colossalcricketer on | January 28, 2013, 6:56 GMT

    I am from India and I still think that this guy is talented and he has toiled hard to reach where he is now! I think he has a long way to go ! Good bowler ! @Yaseen Haider We have quite a few quick bowlers - Umesh, Varun, Shami to name a few

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    @IndiaChampspakchumps, thanks for your valuable contribution however the article is about him, not INDIA vs Pakistan. btw who should i thank for NOT producing a single genuine fast bowler in India in past 60 years? men in your country dont have this skill you mentioned to bowl fast? disgrace isnt it?

  • POSTED BY Samar_Singh on | January 28, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    Good luck and hope for a bright carrier . God bless.

  • POSTED BY wakaPAK on | January 28, 2013, 5:48 GMT

    Touching story. He's got a golden heart and he's got an honest approach to life.

  • POSTED BY ABLcric on | January 28, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    Your humility and modesty will take you very far, just keep working hard and focus on your fitness!! Good Luck!

  • POSTED BY IndiaChampspakchumps on | January 28, 2013, 5:13 GMT

    Skill is more important than physical attributes. What is the point of height when you can't win matches for your country. He has to be reminded that pakistan are yet to beat India in a World Cup match, after 8 attempts and 20 years.

  • POSTED BY Green_Team on | January 28, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    Very Touching Story . I Wish you All the best for your future . .

  • POSTED BY Kunal-Talgeri on | January 28, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    For cricket to be a great game, it needs strong teams from West Indies and Pakistan. I hope the likes of Mohammad Irfan and Junaid Khan are developed to their full potential, so that they proudly lead the revival of Pakistan into a great team. We enjoyed seeing the two bowlers in full steam. Long may they run.

  • POSTED BY ashish514 on | January 28, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    I doubt he will be able to make it in test cricket. No doubt about his bowling abilities, but his fitness surely looks dicey. With such a large structure, you are bound to have problems bowling long spells and standing in the field whole day. He cannot play the part of "enforcer" which he played in recent ODIs against India if used in short spells in test cricket. Still if Pakistan manages to keep him fit and raring, he can prove to be a big asset for Pakistan. He has mostly bowled on the subcontinent till now, imagine the bounce he'll get in South Africa. Fingers crossed to see this amazing bowler bowling in tests, and I wish he would have come at a younger age.

  • POSTED BY smalishah84 on | January 28, 2013, 4:03 GMT

    Great interview with Irfan. I wish him all the best in his cricket career.

  • POSTED BY sermadali on | January 28, 2013, 3:56 GMT

    Bring tears to my eyes after reading his life story.May Allah bless him with good career and long lasting career.Irfan just do you hardwork always remember your past.Work hard bowl fast and bring Pakistan Success. We as pakistani will always behind you and love you.

  • POSTED BY sermadali on | January 28, 2013, 3:56 GMT

    Bring tears to my eyes after reading his life story.May Allah bless him with good career and long lasting career.Irfan just do you hardwork always remember your past.Work hard bowl fast and bring Pakistan Success. We as pakistani will always behind you and love you.

  • POSTED BY smalishah84 on | January 28, 2013, 4:03 GMT

    Great interview with Irfan. I wish him all the best in his cricket career.

  • POSTED BY ashish514 on | January 28, 2013, 4:30 GMT

    I doubt he will be able to make it in test cricket. No doubt about his bowling abilities, but his fitness surely looks dicey. With such a large structure, you are bound to have problems bowling long spells and standing in the field whole day. He cannot play the part of "enforcer" which he played in recent ODIs against India if used in short spells in test cricket. Still if Pakistan manages to keep him fit and raring, he can prove to be a big asset for Pakistan. He has mostly bowled on the subcontinent till now, imagine the bounce he'll get in South Africa. Fingers crossed to see this amazing bowler bowling in tests, and I wish he would have come at a younger age.

  • POSTED BY Kunal-Talgeri on | January 28, 2013, 4:33 GMT

    For cricket to be a great game, it needs strong teams from West Indies and Pakistan. I hope the likes of Mohammad Irfan and Junaid Khan are developed to their full potential, so that they proudly lead the revival of Pakistan into a great team. We enjoyed seeing the two bowlers in full steam. Long may they run.

  • POSTED BY Green_Team on | January 28, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    Very Touching Story . I Wish you All the best for your future . .

  • POSTED BY IndiaChampspakchumps on | January 28, 2013, 5:13 GMT

    Skill is more important than physical attributes. What is the point of height when you can't win matches for your country. He has to be reminded that pakistan are yet to beat India in a World Cup match, after 8 attempts and 20 years.

  • POSTED BY ABLcric on | January 28, 2013, 5:30 GMT

    Your humility and modesty will take you very far, just keep working hard and focus on your fitness!! Good Luck!

  • POSTED BY wakaPAK on | January 28, 2013, 5:48 GMT

    Touching story. He's got a golden heart and he's got an honest approach to life.

  • POSTED BY Samar_Singh on | January 28, 2013, 6:21 GMT

    Good luck and hope for a bright carrier . God bless.

  • POSTED BY on | January 28, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    @IndiaChampspakchumps, thanks for your valuable contribution however the article is about him, not INDIA vs Pakistan. btw who should i thank for NOT producing a single genuine fast bowler in India in past 60 years? men in your country dont have this skill you mentioned to bowl fast? disgrace isnt it?