A former teammate remembers Irrfan Khan ‘the good all-rounder’ who left cricket for acting
Written by Rahul Sadhu
| Kolkata |

Updated: April 29, 2020 10:11:18 pm


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Actor Irrfan Khan who handed away on Wednesday on the age of 53 was famend throughout the globe for his versatile and easy acting. But a childhood pal revealed that not solely was the actor an aspiring cricketer but in addition an equally good all-rounder.

Growing up in Jaipur, Irrfan’s love for the sport was evident at a younger age.

“It was the period around 1984-85 and he used to play with us at the 11-star cricket club,” mentioned Bharat Bhatnagar, a childhood pal of the actor.

“Every evening from 4.30 PM to 6.30 PM, we used to practice at the erstwhile Ayurvedic College of Jaipur ( now known as National Institute of Ayurveda) which was right opposite my home. Irrfan used to stay at his house which was called ‘Saeeda Mazil’ near Subhas Chowk, around 10 minutes away from the ground,” the 57-year-old informed indianexpress.com.

“We were both pace bowlers but he was tall and that helped him generate bounce off the pitch. At that time we had only two clubs in Jaipur that had mat wickets. I remember he would often trouble the batsmen with his bounce,” he mentioned.

“However, his mother (Sayeeda Begum) was very strict and wanted him to focus on his studies. Hence, at times he had to lie to play a few tournaments with us. His father was supportive though,” Bhatnagar mentioned.

“His favorite cricketers at the moment had been Kapil Dev and Gundappa Vishwanath. He was additionally an avid fan of Pakistan’s Imran Khan and Zaheer Abbas. He was notably impressed with Vishwanath’s model of play. ‘Uske jaise khilari bohot kam hote hai’, Irfan used to say,” he mentioned.

Bhatnagar mentioned the actor was additionally a good swimmer. “It was he taught me learn how to swim on the close by talaabs. So for somebody who was all the time match and agile, 53 is just too early to cross away,” he mentioned. Nevertheless, he performed his innings superbly, leaving footprints in our hearts.

Bhatnagar mentioned that Irrfan may need shone on the cricket discipline if he had acquired extra backing from his household, however “destiny had something else for him.”

“Sometimes he would also open the batting for us, so yeah he was a good all-rounder, a rare talent in those days,” he mentioned.

When he visited The Indian Express in 2013, the actor, who had already received a Padma Shri for his acting performances, mentioned he had chosen to pursue acting over sports activities since he felt he might pursue it for longer.

In 2017, Irrfan appeared on the chat present Son of Abish and spoke of how he deserted cricket.

“I used to be an all-rounder and the youngest one in my crew in Jaipur. I wished to make a profession out of it. I used to be chosen for the CK Nayudu event I feel after which I wanted cash and didn’t know who to ask. That day I made a decision I can’t pursue it.

“I wanted to become a cricketer. I was an all-rounder and the youngest one in my team in Jaipur. I loved batting more. My captain liked my bowling, so he made me a bowler,” mentioned Irrfan, a self-proclaimed MS Dhoni fan.

“I wished to make a profession out of it. I used to be chosen for the CK Nayudu event I feel after which I wanted cash to go to Ajmer from Jaipur however that I couldn’t organize.

“That day I decided I cannot pursue it,” mentioned the Padma Shri awardee.

But Irrfan mentioned he didn’t remorse his resolution. He later wanted cash for admission to the National School of Drama and it was his sister who had organized for the cash.

Irrfan has additionally spoken about his love for soccer and tennis. Spain’s Rafael Nadal was his favorite tennis star.

Irrfan Khan is survived by his spouse, Sutapa Sikder, and sons Babil and Ayan. He final appeared in Hindi movie Angrezi Medium, a sequel to the hit Hindi Medium that he had starred in.

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