Former India all-rounder Irfan Pathan has named a side consisting of 11 retired cricketers who could take the current national team on in what would serve as a farewell game for many.
Pathan suggested that the farewell game could also be a fundraiser for a charitable cause, apart from giving cricket fans in India some much-needed closure.
Irfan Pathan's Farewell XI: Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan, Pragyan Ojha
Many people are talking about a farewell game for retired players who didn't get a proper send-off from the game. How about a charity cum farewell game from a team consisting of retired players vs the current Indian team? pic.twitter.com/diUiLXr9XQ— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) August 22, 2020
The Baroda man's idea comes on the back of widespread claims that Indian cricket team legends aren't been given adequate respect in the latter stages of their careers. None of the players on this list were allowed to go out on a high, with appearances for the team being few and far between in their final years.
MS Dhoni, who last played a game for India in the 2019 World Cup semi-final, recently retired through an Instagram post, prompting uproar from fans that they couldn't see the former Indian captain in action one last time. The retirement of Suresh Raina, which followed MS Dhoni's by a matter of minutes, added fuel to fire.
Irfan Pathan's idea comes on the back of players speaking up against the BCCI
Former Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh, who was the Man of the Tournament in the 2011 World Cup, also retired after consistently being ignored for national selection. In an interview with Sportskeeda, the Punjab man said:
"I just felt that the way they managed me towards the end of my career was very unprofessional. But looking back at a couple of great players like Harbhajan, Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, also very badly mis-managed. So it is part of Indian cricket, I had seen it in the past and I was not really surprised," he said.
Many current and former cricketers have echoed Yuvraj's claims, and Irfan Pathan himself retired in 2019 after taking a 5-wicket haul in his last ODI back in 2012.
It remains to be seen if BCCI President Sourav Ganguly organises such a game, but it is certainly something that fans would love to see.