Mohammedan Sporting have roped in former Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan as a brand ambassador. The century-old club, popularly reckoned as one of the 'Big Three' of Indian football, is a heritage institution and steeped in history like its Kolkata Maidan neighbours, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. (More Sports News)
“Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls. It’s official. With immense pleasure and pride, BunkerHill Sports announces Irfan Pathan as the new Brand Ambassador of Mohammedan Sporting Club Official,” the club has tweeted. Irfan Pathan, who became father to a baby boy on Tuesday, has retweeted in acknowledgement.
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It’s official. With immense pleasure and pride, BunkerHill Sports announces Irfan Pathan as the new ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ«ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ§ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ¦ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ¬ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ¬ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ¨ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ« of Mohammedan Sporting Club Official.#IrfanPathan #JaanJaanMohammedan pic.twitter.com/aQaWKWDvZl— Mohammedan SC (@MohammedanSC) December 27, 2021
The Baroda-born Irfan Pathan was part of India's 2007 T20 World Cup-winning campaign and was the player of the match in the final for his three wickets against Pakistan. One of the highlights of Irfan’s career was his hat-trick in the first over of a Test match against Pakistan in Karachi in 2006.
Irfan Pathan's brother Yusuf Pathan perhaps has a larger Kolkata following due to his association with Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL. But Irfan has always been a more colourful personality with his buoyant nature on an off the field.
The details of Irfan Pathan's role with Mohammedan Sporting is not yet known. Will he drive the club's fortunes in terms of sponsorships, will he be able to bring peace among warring officials, will he be able to bring the sports-loving Mohammedam Sporting fans back to the stadium?
Mohammedan Sporting have fallen from grace over a period of time. Warring and opportunistic officials have been the club's biggest bane. However, in the last two-three seasons, the team's football fortunes are looking up. Unlike East Bengal or Mohun Bagan (now ATK-Mohun Bagan), Mohammedan Sporting do not play in the country's premier football league, the ISL.
Mohammedan Sporting’s recent success came when the club won the prestigious Calcutta Football League four long decades. The Black and Whites defeated Railway FC 1-0 in the final of the Premier Division A league at the Salt Lake Stadium.
Mohammedan Sporting are also aiming for good results in the I-League this season. They defeated Sudeva Moonlight FC 2-1 in their campaign opener.
For cricketer-turned-commentator Irfan Pathan, this is his first association with a football club in India. Many top cricketers have been associated with Kolkata football clubs. Prominent among the are former India cricket captains, Kapil Dev and Sourav Ganguly.
Here's a list of Indian cricket stars who are linked with Indian football:
The former Indian captain was a part of the Indian Super League franchise Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) since its inception in 2014. He was one of the directors of the club and a shareholder too. ATK merged with Mohun Bagan to become ATK-Mohun Bagan. Ganguly stepped down as a director of ATKMB after the Sanjiv Goenka-owned RPSG Group won the rights to own a new IPL team to be based out of Lucknow.
Like Ganguly, former India batting legend Sachin Tendulkar was also the co-owner of ISL franchise Kerala Blasters. However, the owner of 100 international hundreds, ended his association with the franchise in 2018 after selling his stakes to the co-promoters of the clubs. Tendulkar was a common face in the stadium during Kerala Blasters’ matches in the ISL during his association with Kerala Blasters.
India’s Test captain Virat Kohli is the co-owner of ISL franchise FC Goa. In spite of his heavy cricket assignments, Kohli does makes it a point to support FC Goa, virtually.
Chennai and MS Dhoni go hand in hand. The two-time World Cup-winning former Indian captain has won the Indian Premier League title four times with Chennai Super Kings and is also the co-owner of ISL franchise Chennaiyin FC. Dhoni is also a common face in the stands when not playing.