Indian all-rounder Irfan Pathan last evening inaugurated his cricket academy in Port Blair, the capital of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, a union territory typically not considered part of mainstream Indian sports. Irfan, along with his half-brother Yusuf, opened their first academy in 2014, in various cities in Gujarat. They also have academies in NOIDA and Raipur with aims of opening as many as 50 academies throughout India. The last time Irfan featured in serious cricket was in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2016-17, for Baroda. The all-rounder picked up 5 wickets in 4 games at an average of 17.6 in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. His batting was below par (he ended with just 32 runs). Despite a good show with the ball, Irfan was not picked up in the IPL auction 2017.
He had played only one match for Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) — now Supergiants — in IPL 9, a season where he was plagued with injuries and bad form. Yusuf, the elder (but less-capped) of the two, is still a regular feature for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Indian Premier League.
The main reason behind this initiative is that the Pathan brothers want to give a chance to budding cricketing talent coming from non-cricketing regions to excel in the sport, according to a report published in Mid-Day. Irfan also took to Instagram to convey his displeasure at leaving Port Blair in a post: “Such a blissful place #portblair is,Disappointing to be there only for a day #traveldiaries #love #backtotraining.”