What it takes to excel amidst adversaries. Few would know it better than Indian cricket’s Pathan brothers – Yusuf and Irfan. Philanthropy is a way of life for the duo, whose cricketing excellence has transcended from the hardships to privileges. They are not the ones to detach from the past that was not so glorious. Personal struggles have made Irfan and Yusuf concerned about others’ needs.
It is this essence and way of life, which made the brothers consider others need as the duo started planning their future. Beyond cricket. Albeit, in cricket only. Armed with a strong curriculum and some of the best from the cricket world, the Pathan brothers promise to polish the future of the Indian Cricket with their groundbreaking initiative! For them it is a time to ‘give back’ through their CRICKET ACADEMY OF PATHANS, which is a ‘commercial venture’ though.
Irfan has tied up with Ola, for whom he is also a brand ambassador, to identify and nurture raw talent. Support the training of the ones who cannot afford it.
In an EXCLUSIVE CHAT with InsideSport.co, he talked about his academy, missions and life around and beyond cricket.
InsideSport: So, tell something about your academy?
Irfan Pathan: Cricket Academy for Pathans is a chain of full-scale cricket academies that is trying to help the children to come on board with us, and nourish their cricketing talent. We have a structure where we try to monitor the progress of every child as well as coaches. We have world-class coaches and they are regularly monitored. Similarly, we also monitor the progress of child. Based on a child’s performance, (financial) background and needs, we have created a provision to give scholarship to support their career.
IS: Is CAP a long-term commercial venture?
IP: Yeah, it is a commercial venture. We started from Raipur and now we have expanded to Port Blair. Recently we are opening up in Lunawada, which is 2-hour drive from Vadodara. Other than this, we have plans for expansion and we are in talks for centres in Noida and Delhi. So, it’s a long term plan and we are working on it. However, we always try to keep a provision for needy kids and try to find a feasible point to help them.
IS: Take us through the tie-up between Ola andCricket Academy of Pathans?
IP: CAP has this thing where we always try to help children rise up the ladder. We have a structure within the Academy that recognizes the talent based on the background of the children and helps them. Similarly, Ola has come along with us to help their partners (Ola has a policy of recognizing all its drivers as PARTNERS) to come onboard and help their children join our academy. We are very thrilled with this association. It’s a very noble cause in the interest of the Ola partners. I am also the brand ambassador for their campaign- “Ola Partners League” and I welcome all the Ola partners.
IS: What do you think about the current scenario of pace bowlers in India?
IP: India has a wonderful set of bowlers and I am very pleased with the current scenario. They are hitting the right length, bowling at a good pace. And I think the more cricket they play, better will they become. But fitness will always remain the key point.
IS: What are your career plans ahead? Will Academy now be a priority over your active career?
IP: Retirement is long, long way away. I have no plans of retiring and I would not like to comment anything on it yet. I am really enjoying my cricket and I will continue to play as long as I am enjoying it. And till the time I am playing cricket, I won’t be able to give much time to academy but then I always have an indirect involvement. I try to give inputs from my learnings and also keep track of what is happening and what is required in the academies.
For now, the Pathan brothers are also working on to find their way back into the national team.