© AFP
© AFP

India‘s all-rounder Irfan Pathan had a dream start to his international career. Good performances in Pakistan, Australia and a number of home matches cemented his place in the side. He was also useful with the bat during the turbulent Greg Chappell era. He may be out of contention for a place in the national side currently, but has already inspired the younger lot with his swing bowling and occasional blitz with the willow. Nonetheless, Irfan, now 34, has gone a step ahead and will set example for youngsters through academics. A former woman cricketer and coach’s daughter has completed a thesis on the flamboyant cricketer.

Tanvir Shaikh, daughter of Irfan’s (and Yusuf Pathan’s) former coach Mehndi Sheikh, just completed her thesis titled A Case Study on International Cricketer Irfan Pathan under the guidance of Dr NJ Chaniyara, Associate Professor at HL College of Commerce, Ahmedabad. “Irfan has always been an inspiration for aspiring cricketers not just on the field but even in personal life. I thought that a thesis on his career would be the best topic. I sent a questionnaire to about 200 persons of which 180 responded. I asked about his cricketing skills and how he made several comebacks in the Indian team. I also talked with a number of people including Irfan’s teammates, coaches, his umpires, family members and friends. They were all praises for him.The idea was to find out how a person from such humble background went on to become one of the successful cricketers in the country”, Shaikh was quoted as saying by Times of India.

Irfan added: “It’s a great honour to have a PhD done on your cricketing life and that too by a former cricketer. Very few sportspersons have a PhD thesis on their life. When she approached me with the idea, I immediately said yes. I have grown up with her so she had better insight about me. Also I have played under Tanvir when I was 10-years-old.”