Irrfan Khan was a huge fan of Pakistani PM Imran Khan

His childhood friend, Bharat Bhatnagar, recalled how Irrfan Khan troubled batsmen like Imran Khan and Kapil Dev. Irrfan Khan was a good all-rounder, said his friend.

Irrfan Khan Imran Khan

Bollywood’s late actor Irrfan Khan was a fan of Imran Khan, he said in one of his previous interviews. The video of his interview surfaced on social media. In which Irrfan Khan said he was a fan of two Pakistani cricketing legends-Zaheer Abbas and Imran Khan.

“There was an India-Pakistan match. I was very young. Zaheer Abbas was there. I went to take his autograph. That was the first time I never took autographs from anybody in my life. He just looked at me and I felt so humiliated. I felt really bad,” he had said. “I was fan of  Zaheer Abbas and Imran Khan. Imran Kitna khubsoorat lagta hai! What a person, open-chested, aise uchhal ke bowling karta tha. Even now, he looks great,” said Irrfan Khan.

Read more: Kapil Dev to Imran Khan: From one legendary cricketer to another

Irrfan Khan: a cricketer

Irrfan Khan was himself a cricketer. He followed the cricket matches of India and Pakistan. He was once spotted attending a Test match between Pakistan and England in the UK in 2018. Before stepping into Bollywood, he began his career as a cricketer.

“I played cricket as I wanted to become a cricketer.” He said he was an all-rounder and the youngest one in his team in Jaipur. Irrfan Khan said he wanted to make a career out of it. Moreover, he said he was selected for the CK Nayudu tournament. Adding that he needed money and didn’t know who to ask. ‘That day I decided I cannot pursue it. I couldn’t have asked for Rs 600 at that time,” Irrfan had revealed.

While the world knows Irrfan Khan as a versatile and flawless performer, he was also a proficient cricketer recalls his friend.

His childhood friend, Bharat Bhatnagar, recalled how Irrfan Khan troubled batsmen like Imran Khan and Kapil Dev. Irrfan Khan was a good all-rounder, said his friend.

“We were both pace bowlers but he was tall and that helped him generate bounce off the pitch. At that time we had only two clubs in Jaipur that had mat wickets. I remember he would often trouble the batsmen with his bounce,” said Bhatnagar in an interview.

Film career

Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan died at the age of 53 in Mumbai on Wednesday. The Indian media confirmed the reports of his death on the 29th of April, 2020. Irrfan Khan was a cancer survivor. He died after battling colon infection for years.

One of the finest actors of Bollywood, Irrfan Khan had worked in Hollywood movies including Slumdog Millionaire, Life of Pi, and The Namesake. Some of the highlights of his career are Piku, Haider, New York, and The Lunchbox. He has appeared in more than 100 Hindi films. Irrfan Khan received the highest Indian civil award, Padma Shri, in 2011.

Read more: Irrfan Khan, the silent superstar, leaves Bollywood mourning at 53

The ‘Hindi Medium’ star spent 2018 and 2019 fighting the neuroendocrine tumor. He recovered well from the illness after his treatment in London. Irrfan Khan was born as Sahibzaade Irrfan Khan to a tyre seller in Jaipur in 1966. He went to drama school after failing as a cricketer. For years, he struggled to make his way into Bollywood. He first appeared in Mira Nair’s Salam Bombay 1988. His breakthrough came in British director Asif Kapadia’s movie, The Warrior in 2000.

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