Mohammed Irfan Jr. was a bit disappointed after India's two-hour net session at the Sydney Cricket Ground. “Virat Kohli chaale gayein? Rohit bhai ke saath selfie le liya, Kohli ka ek mil jaata,” the six feet six-inch right arm pacer’s sadness was palpable while speaking to PTI. (More Cricket News)
The Pakistan-born pacer, who has made Sydney his home for last three years, was one of the highlights of the Indian team’s net session ahead of their ICC T20 World Cup 2022, Super 12 match against the Netherlands.
Bowling with a wrong-footed action, Irfan Jr. looked like a right-arm prototype of former international bowler Sohail Tanveer. Because of his height, the 27-year-old's natural length was back of good length area and he effortlessly got the deliveries to rear up.
Dinesh Karthik was troubled by the bounce but he earned praise from none other than skipper Rohit and the team’s numero uno batter Kohli. He, in fact, got Kohli to edge one and also beat his bat with deliveries that bounced away.
“My natural length is a bit back from good length. So, because of my height, I trouble all kinds of batters. When Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli praise you, what more do you need. Rohit bhai said, best of luck for your future,” Irfan said.
He had a very interesting story to narrate when he bowled at the Australia nets some time back. “I dismissed Steve Smith twice at the nets and he was not in good form. Since he was unable to middle my bowling, he asked me to not bowl further as he wanted to get his rhythm back,” said Irfan.
Irfan plays Grade Cricket for New South Wales’ Western Suburb District, and is waiting for his PR (Permanent Residency), which might ease his way into Australian first-class cricket (Sheffield Shield).
“It’s a good experience but just to let you know, I have played 22 first-class games for Water And Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and three seasons of Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. I have played three editions of PSL for Lahore Qalandars, Multan Sultans and Quetta Gladiators.
“Once I stopped getting chances in PSL, I migrated to Australia. Obviously, I dreamt of playing for Pakistan. I had played for Pakistan A and alongside Babar Azam,” said the man, who now wants to earn a Big Bash League (BBL) contract.
A Punjabi born in Nankana Sahib (birthplace of Guru Nanak ji), Irfan wants to bring his family to Australia once his earnings increase. “Yes, I get paid by my grade cricket team but it's not great money. I don't do any side jobs.
“I only play cricket. That's why whenever international teams land in Sydney, I land up at the SCG to bowl. Next Monday, I would be bowling at Pakistan nets,” he concluded.