I get peace of mind when I am with my pets: Yusuf Pathan

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Yusuf Pathan
(© ALEXANDER JOE/AFP/Getty Images)

Judging Yusuf Pathan just by his appearance could be a mistake. The Baroda-born former Indian all-rounder is quite famous for his aggressive batting while maintaining a poker face. But, in contrast to the general perception that people have about him, Yusuf is a calm and easy going person who likes to spend his time with the animals and birds as his pets in his sprawling Baroda home and farmhouse.

“The animals and birds, they are so innocent and they love you so much. I get peace of mind when I am with them. I like them all, they are like my children but my favourites are a horse called Fauji and a cow named Ganga. Both are extremely fond of me too,” said Yusuf in a conversation with The Hindu.

And his African grey parrots have him laughing his heart out with their wit. “When I am with them, time flies. When the plants grow and the flowers bloom, it gives you so much happiness.”

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Of course, he cannot take his eyes off his two sons, the 2-year-old Ayaan and Raiyaan, who is only six months old. Yusuf, his wife Afreen and his children live with Irfan Pathan’s family and their parents in the same home.

“It’s a joint family where everyone cares for one another. We love having our parents with us. My father, he has sacrificed so much for us. We can never repay all that our parents have done for me and Irfan. We came from a humble background.”

The 33-year-old former India cricketer has also comprehended much about life and cricket during his journey. “People surround you when you are on top. But when you get dropped from the team, the same people leave you. It hurts but you also learn. Now I have very few friends with me.”

One person who has stayed with him all along is his brother Irfan. “We are very different personalities. He likes to go out a lot. I am an introvert. I prefer to sit in a corner and observe people, see what is happening. But we understand each other.”

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Yusuf’s best cricketing friends are Robin Uthappa and Piyush Chawla. “I play with them for Kolkata Knight Riders. We get along very well.”

Knight Riders boss movie star Shah Rukh Khan is fond of Yusuf. “He often says ‘we are both Pathans.’ The bonding is natural.”

And Yusuf’s admires his captain from an earlier franchise, Rajasthan Royals. “Shane Warne enjoys life and makes people around him happy.”

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