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Irfan Pathan to join the Star’s IPL panel as an expert

Irfan also picked the top 5 all-rounders playing this IPL.

Irfan Pathan
Irfan Pathan. (Photo Source: CricTracker)

The Indian fast bowler Irfan Pathan is enthralled for the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) which is set to commence on April 7. The opening game of the 11th edition of the tournament will be played between two of the most successful franchises Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. While all the teams look balanced after the auctions earlier this year, Irfan is excited to take up a new role and to be viewing the game from a different perspective.

Star Sports bagged the rights of the Indian T20 extravaganza for the next 5 years and are leaving no stone unturned in its preparation. They also released the IPL anthem along with all the other campaigns which has already got popular. Irfan who was a part of the IPL as a player until last season is set to join Star Sports on the expert panel this year and will be analysing the game.

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Irfan will be playing a new role off the field this time around and seemed very excited about the same while speaking exclusively to CricTracker. He also cleared that he will be playing for the new State team in the next domestic season.

“It is something very new and I am really looking forward to it and it’s going to be an exciting time. I will be connected to the game this season and it will give me an opportunity to look at the game from a different perspective. Obviously, I have plans to play the next season I am going to be with a new state team,” he said.

Excited to see U19 players perform

The left-arm pacer is waiting eagerly for the IPL to start as he wants to see how the youngsters picked up by the team from the India U19 setup perform at this level having set the stage on fire in the World Cup in New Zealand. He also credited the franchises for picking youngsters in their teams and giving them an opportunity to play with some of the greats of the game.

“It’s going to be an exciting season, based on what Star has already done to take the game forward. I am excited to see the youngsters in action. A lot of franchises have given the young guys an opportunity this time and that is what makes it even more interesting. I want to see them take centre stage and take up that responsibility for their respective teams and make it big. U19 boys who had an exceptional World Cup are also featuring in the league this time so I want to see how they perform in the IPL now,” Pathan added.

T20 has evolved the game

Irfan also is of the opinion that the approach towards the game has changed drastically courtesy the T20 format and the tournament like IPL is a treat for the new-age crowd who love entertainment.

“A lot of things have changed from how batsmen approached the game in terms of stroke play to the bowlers upgrading themselves and adding new tricks up their sleeves. Now we get to see the batsmen play reverse sweep to a fast bowler, and even the ones who bowl in the 140s get hit for boundaries and that is what makes it exciting.”

“Playing the horizontal bat shot and even across the line was a big thing a decade ago but now things have changed, the mindset has changed, how a run-chase is approached is completely different and as a result, it is a treat for the crowd in the IPL,” he continued.

Eager to watch CSK return

Irfan like most fans of the T20 league wants to see one of the most celebrated franchises CSK make a comeback in the fray of the IPL. He also backed his brother Yusuf Pathan to do well for his new franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad.

“I am excited to see the Chennai Super Kings making a comeback as a team. I am also eager to see Yusuf Pathan join SRH because I think he has done well in Hyderabad and I am thrilled for him to be playing there and I am backing him to do well there,” the 33-year-old enthusiastically said.

Jadeja is the top all-rounder

When he was asked to pick five best all-rounders in the IPL, he went with CSK’s Ravindra Jadeja. “Role of an allrounder is the key in the shorter format of the game. T20 gets the best out of them; as far as the top all-rounders in this IPL is concerned Ravindra Jadeja would be my top pick, then there is Hardik and Vijay Shankar. From among the overseas players I’d say Ben Stokes and Shane Watson,” Pathan concluded.

Here’s how the CSK squad looks like for IPL 2018:

Keep following CricTracker for more news and updates.

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