Saturday, 4 December 2021

Six-month ban felt like six years, says fast bowler Irfan


KARACHI: Pakistan pacer Mohammad Irfan has said that the six-month ban felt like “six years” and that time was tought for him. The fast bowler was handed a six-month suspension after he failed to report two approaches made by bookies during the Pakistan Super League. He was not allowed to play any form of cricket during the ban period of one-year but now his contract with WAPDA, a domestic team, has resumed.

In an interview with ESPNcricinfo, Irfan said that he had no fixing allegations but regrets not reporting the two incidents during the PSL. He also added that people still like him.

“The last six months have been very tough on me. In fact, it felt like six years, during which I incurred great losses,”
“Indeed, it was my mistake, and I admitted it instantly, but there was no fixing allegations against me. But, in all this, I am thankful the situation wasn’t any worse.

“I was actually working in my private gym at home to keep myself fit. But I had been training privately, so I hope things will go well. These six months, I think I can view it as a rest period which will help me rejuvenate.”

The PSL fixing scandal broke last earlier this year in which two players – Sharjeel Khan and Khalid Latif – were banned for five years apart from the fine. Mohammad Nawaz was also under scanner and was banned for two months. Irfan was handed a six-month ban.

“I regret that I didn’t report it and I have realised how serious it is if you don’t report a corrupt approach. But I am still very much accepted and people still like me. I don’t want to go into details about whether the punishment was harsh. There were reasons I didn’t report instantly but I did reject them [the bookies] straightaway.

“After my mother and father’s death, I was lost and wasn’t able to decide what to do, hence the delay. Then, I went to the PSL, where the PCB came up with some information and since it was correct [to report], I did so, and I am happy that I am back after a minor ban and still have a chance to revive myself.”

Talking about his time off cricket, Irfan said that he was playing too much cricket at the start of his career and it was nice to take a break adding that in Pakistan there no one to manage him and the only help game from Grant Luden.

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