Irrfan Khan has been a refreshing experience in an industry stuck in commercial tropes. His silent expressions speak louder than words. A truly versatile actor, Irrfan pulled off some magical performances on-screen while also leaving a mark in Hollywood. But before the veteran actor had made a career in the film industry, Irrfan had once aspired to become a cricketer. And was in fact, an avid follower of sports while also being an MS Dhoni and Rafael Nadal fan.
Speaking to Telegraph back in 2014, Irrfan had recalled his selection for the CK Nayudu tournament, but failed to make it to the tournament owing to the lack of funds.
"I wanted to become a cricketer. I was an all-rounder and the youngest one in my team in Jaipur. I wanted to make a career out of it. I was selected for the CK Nayudu tournament I think and then I needed money and didn’t know who to ask. That day I decided I cannot pursue it," he had said.
Later, in an interaction on Son of Abish, Irrfan had revealed that he was an all-rounder who preferred batting more, although his captain had found in him a handy bowler.
"I was an all-rounder," he started off, with a confident smile. "I loved batting more. My captain liked my bowling, so he made me a bowler. Don't know what prompted him to make that decsion but he used to tell me, 'Throw a nice one', and I used to just thrown and somehow used to get a couple of wickets"
"The situation in my house was such that I had to lie to go to play and made excuses when asked where we were so it wasn't encouraged to havr a career in sports. So when I was selected and the team was to go from Jaipur to Ajmer and required some money. And that I couldn't arrange. So that day I realised that I couldn't pursue this."
But Irrfan did not regret his decision. He had later required money for his admission to the National School of Drama and it was sister who had arranged the money then.
"I couldn’t have asked for Rs 600 at that time. I needed Rs 300 for the National School of Drama, which was difficult for me. My sister finally got it for me. Giving up cricket was a conscious decision. There are only 11 players in the whole country. Actors mein koi limit nahin hai! There is no age limit in acting… jitna mehnat karoge....You yourself are your own weapon," he told the newspaper.
Irrfan on Wednesday breathed his last at Mumbai's Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital where he was admitted due to colon infection. He was 53 and is survived by his wife, Sutapa Sikder, and sons Babil and Ayan. He last worked in Angrezi Medium, after having recovered from a neuroendocrine tumour. wHe is best known for his role as a police inspector in Slumdog Millionaire while also leaving a mark in Bollywood with his exceptional performances in Haider and Hindi Medium.