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Before Bollywood, Irrfan Khan gave up career in cricket!

Sports Lounge Staff

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New Delhi: As the whole nation mourns the death of Bollywood actor Irrfan Khan, few people know, versatile performer wanted to be a cricketer before becoming an actor.

On the chat show Son of Abish in 2017, he had said that though he was ‘good’, his career as a sportsperson came to a premature end because of a lack of funds.

Irrfan told host and comedian Abish Mathew that he was an all-rounder but preferred batting over bowling. “My captain liked my bowling, so he made me a bowler. I don’t know. He used to tell me, ‘Throw me a nice one…’ I used to just throw the ball and somehow used to get a couple of wickets,” he said.

The cricket fraternity loss became the film industry’s gain. Irrfan became successful in Bollywood as well as Hollywood, working in films such as Piku, The Lunchbox, Slumdog Millionaire, Maqbool and many more.

Khan was selected to play in the Col CK Nayudu U-23 tournament.

“I was selected in one of the tournaments – CK Nayudu. The situation in my house was such that I had to lie to go and play, and make excuses when asked where we were. So it wasn’t encouraged to have a career in sports,” he said.

But Khan couldn’t afford a ticket to travel to Ajmer for the tournament and had to gave up on his cricket dreams.

“When I was selected, the team had to travel from Jaipur to Ajmer, and I needed Rs 200-250. I couldn’t arrange for it. So that day, I realised that I couldn’t pursue this,” he said.

Khan, who was admitted to Mumbai’s Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital with a colon infection, died on Wednesday afternoon. He was 53.

The actor battled a tumour for several months and returned to Mumbai some months ago after being treated in London.

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