Former India fast bowler Irfan Pathan on Thursday slammed a Twitter user for saying he is “not hiding his ambitions to become the next Hafiz Saeed,” referring to the leader of the terrorist organisation Jamat-ud-Dawa (JUD).
Pathan has been outspoken on topics on religious harmony in the country in recent months and this has led to a few trolls on social media attacking him for his views.
“This is the mentality of certain people. Where have we reached? #shame #disgusted,” Pathan tweeted. A number of users, including actor Richa Chadha, said in the replies section that the handle that abused the former Indian cricketer is a bot and not a real user.
“It’s fake account. Bot. Not a real person,” she tweeted and Pathan replied: “But someone is managing that?”
The insult was however not in reply to any political comment made by Pathan but to an unrelated topic of him speaking about how he was converted from a pure fast bowler to an all-rounder.
“I had said this after I had announced my retirement as well. Those who talk about Greg Chappell spoiling my career, by sending me as an all-rounder at No. 3 and all these things…Actually, it was Sachin paaji’s idea,” Pathan said on Beyond the Field hosted by presenter Raunak Kapoor on his Instagram page.
“He advised Rahul Dravid to send me at No. 3. He said ‘he (Irfan) has the power to hit sixes, can take on the new ball and can play the fast bowlers well too.
“It was tried for the first time in the series against Sri Lanka when Muralitharan was at his peak, and the idea was to attack him as well. (Dilhara) Fernando back then had started the concept of the split-finger slower ball.
“Batsmen didn’t understand that too well, so the belief was if I could pull it off, it could work in our favour, especially since it was the first match of the series. It’s not true that Greg Chappell spoiled my career. Since he was not from India, it is easier to make him a punching bag.”
The left-arm pacer played 29 Tests, 120 ODIs and 24 T20Is for India, scalping a total of 301 international wickets.