January 5 (IndiaToday) – Irfan Pathan and Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara once engaged in an ugly war of words during a Test match in Delhi which the former India all-rounder recalled on a show after announcing his retirement from all forms of cricket on Saturday.
Pathan, who will now look to play domestic T20 leagues around the world, narrated an incident involving Sangakkara when they were playing against each other at the Feroz Shah Kotla in 2005.
Pathan was sent to open the batting for India in their second innings in the Test match as Virender Sehwag was ruled out with an injury in that game. Pathan shined with the bat, top-scoring with 93 runs as India beat Sri Lanka by 188 runs in the first match of the series.
It was while he was batting against Muttiah Muralitharan that he got sledged by Sangakkar from behind the stumps and Pathan gave it back to him. The two said some nasty things about each other’s family members.
“I remember one of the stories with (Kumar) Sangakkara. We were playing in Delhi. I scored about 93 in the 2nd innings when (Virender) Sehwag got injured. I was sent up the order. At that time, Sangakkara knew the match was going away from them. (Muttiah) Muralitharan was bowling really well. He was just trying to tell me something very nasty. He said something personal, I said something personal to him. I said something about his wife, he said something about my father and my mother. At that time, we were not happy with each other,” Pathan said on Star Sports.
But a few years later the two buried the hatchet and became friends after coming together to play for Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League.
“After some time, we were playing in the same team for Kings XI Punjab. I remember, for a month, as soon as his wife used to come on the right, I used to go left. One day, Sangakkara came and said… ‘you remember this guy, he is the guy who said something about you’. I said sorry. And then Sangakkara explained, I said something first and then only he said something about you. It ended that way. There is no hard feeling and then we became friends,” Pathan revealed.
Irfan announced his decision to retire from all forms of professional cricket on Saturday after having played the game at the highest level for 16 years. Irfan represented India in 29 Tests, 120 ODIs and 24 T20Is. The all-rounder picked up 301 international wickets and scored more than 2500 runs across all 3 formats of the game.