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'I have been ignored purely on the basis of my drop in performance'

Last updated on: August 17, 2009 19:27 IST

Off-colour pacer Irfan Pathan on Monday conceded he hasn't performed well enough to merit selection in the Indian one-day team but vowed to make a comeback, saying he has age on his side.

Talking to reporters with elder brother Yusuf by his side at a promotional event here this afternoon, the 24-year-old junior Pathan said, "I have been ignored purely on the basis of my drop in performance and I am working hard towards it."

irfan pathanIrfan, however, said it was disappointing to be ignored for next month's Tri-series in Sri Lanka and the ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa.

"For the last six years, if I have done slightly bad, I'm getting dropped. But I don't have any excuse. I'm not a person who runs for an excuse.

"It's very simple, if I am dropped then something is wrong somewhere. Reason is always performance... Obviously the selectors felt, I'm not up to the mark so I've to work hard and go to that level," Irfan said.

However, the pacer, who made it to the top earlier than his elder brother Yusuf, said he has age by his side.

"Not many people have achieved what I've at at the age of 23-24 and I am very happy for that."

However, the ace bowler from Baroda believed that he did not do that badly recently.

"If you look at my performance, I finished among the top six bowlers in the Indian Premier League II with 17 wickets and 196 runs (with the bat). In the West Indies series, I just got to play one match and was dropped."

Irfan also denied that his brother Yusuf had questioned his axing from the team.

"It was just because of one irresponsible person, who wanted to get fame, this had happened. I don't see any other reason apart from performance for getting dropped. I don't think there is any politics behind it. 

"I have gone a step down (in terms of performance) so the selectors have dropped me and I don't have any other excuse," he reiterated. 

Irfan also hit out at critics who for saying that his pace has dropped, saying he was never a fast bowler.

"I was never a 140 kmph bowler, when I made debut I would touch that mark rarely. I am always a 130 kmph bowler and will always remain like that. When performance goes down people talk of so many things."

Irfan also rubbished suggestions that his increased focus on batting had affected his bowling.

"I don't think it has affected my bowling. At junior level for Baroda, I have batted at No three and four positions, so I don't think it is an issue." 

On the Indian team's standing in world cricket, Irfan said it was close to becoming the number one one-day side in the world. "We have won in the West Indies and hope that we will do well in the Tri-series and Champions Trophy." 

On the controversial whereabouts clause in WADA that has been rejected by the Indian cricketers and the Board, Irfan said, "I don't think anybody is against WADA... We (all the sportpersons) strongly condemn doping. The Board is sorting out the matter."

Asked whether he would like to take some tips from Wasim Akram, who has praised him in the past, Irfan said, "I'm really thankful to him. But we will remain busy with the domestic season beginning September. But when I get a chance, I would speak to him."

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