ANI Photo | “Feel as excited as I was going into 2007 T20 WC”: Yusuf Pathan on his electoral debut against Adhir Chowdhury from Behrampore

Marking his debut on the electoral pitch after being named the TMC’s Lok Sabha candidate from Behrampore, former cricketer Yusuf Pathan on Thursday said he was excited to open a innings in his life and would go into the upcoming elections with the same enthusiasm and excitement as he did in the 2007 T20 World Cup.
Yusuf, for the uninitiated, was part of the Indian team that lifted the world title in 2007 under the leadership of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Speaking to reporters while campaigning in the constituency, where he is pitted against Congres heavyweight and sitting MP Adhir Chowdhury, the former India all-rounder said, “This is a wholly different field for me but the expectation of the people is the same–that I carry forward the good work of my new team (TMC) as I did for India on a cricket field. I feel as excited as i was going into the T20 World Cup in 2007. Gujarat is my ‘janmabhoomi’ (birthplace) and West Bengal is my ‘karmabhoomi’ (work place).”
The ruling TMC sprung a major surprise on its opponents in the state when it announced Yusuf, elder brother of former India pacer Irfan Pathan who was known for tonking huge sixes and taking rival bowlers to the cleaners during his cricketing heydays, as its candidate from the Behrampore Lok Sabha constituency.
Born in Baroda to a Gujarati Pathan family in 1982, Yusuf earned his India cap in 2007, after his younger brother Irfan. Though a part of the India squad for the 2007 T20 World Cup, he didn’t make a single appearance in the showpiece event until the blockbuster final against arch rivals Pakistan in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The final, the memories of which are embedded in the collective conscience of cricket-crazy Indians, saw the Dhoni-led team pip Pakistan in a thriller that came down to the last ball.
Yousuf was also a key contributor to India’s victorious campaign in the ODI World Cup at home in 2011.
However, the electoral greenhorn, faces a formidable opponent in the form of the Congress’s Bengal chief, Adhir Chowdhury, who has held this Lok Sabha seat since 1999.
Speaking on his formidable adversory, the cricketer-turned-politician said, “Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has been a five-time MP from here. However, things change with time and some changes happen for good.”
Bengal will vote to elect 42 Lok Sabha members across all seven phases of the general elections that are scheduled to begin on April 19 and will end on June 1. The counting of votes has been scheduled for June 4.
The TMC has historically never won Behrampore, with either the Congress or the Revolutionary Socialist Party, a partner in the Left Front in Bengal, emerging victors from the seat across seven decades

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