Paying rich tributes to the retired allrounder Irfan Pathan, former India head coach Greg Chappell has called him a 'courageous' and 'selfless' player. <p></p> <p></p>Irfan announced his retirement from professional cricket on Saturday after bursting into the scene as a 19-year-old left-arm swing bowler, making an impressive debut against Australia on the 2003-04 tour. He tasted early success with his ability to swing and bat, took a Test hat-trick in 2006 and became WT20 winner in 2008. <p></p> <p></p>In all he played 29 Tests, 120 ODIs and 24 T20Is taking a combined 301 wickets in them. <p></p> <p></p>"Irfan was happy to play whatever role the team required. He was both courageous and selfless," Chappell told <em>The Times of India</em>. "Irfan proved that he was a very capable all-rounder. Apart from what he did in limited overs cricket, he very nearly scored a Test century (93 vs Sri Lanka)." <p></p> <p></p>Irfan's international career coincided with Chappell's troubled stint as India coach beginning 2005 till the 2007 ICC World Cup in West Indies. There's a popular perception that Irfan's career was 'ruined' by Chappell as he wanted him to become an allrounder resulting in loss of swing. <p></p> <p></p>However, Irfan has dismissed the discussions as 'cover up' insisting he never lost his swing. <p></p> <p></p>"His (Irfan's) swing bowling was very good, with the highlight for me being his hat trick in the first over of a Test match against Pakistan in Karachi," Chappell, a former Australia captain and selector said. <p></p> <p></p>Explaining his decision, Irfan had said, "I knew I was not going to make an international comeback after 2016. I was the highest wicket-taker and the best allrounder that season (2015-16) in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy but I wasn't picked. The selectors were not very happy with my bowling, I was told. Around 2016, I knew my time was up."