Irfan Pathan shared plenty of his cricketing journey with the just retired MS Dhoni, including the 2007 T20 World Cup where the all-rounder was the Man of the Final.
In this interview with Cricketnext, Irfan recalled his journey - on and off the field - with Dhoni while trying to explain the reasons for the sudden retirement.
Thoughts on Dhoni's decision:
Obviously, we all were talking about what's going to happen with MS Dhoni going ahead because he has been an absolute legend of the game and he has achieved so much.
But there is not much cricket in terms of T20 or one-day going ahead. The T20 World Cup is also going to happen at the end of the next year. If the T20 World Cup would have been there in Australia, we would have seen Dhoni pushing himself and keeping himself fit to that level, and that mindset as well.
But now the World Cup isn't happening and this news has come. It was inevitable. All the legends retire one day, and today is the day of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
First memory of Dhoni
My first memory of Dhoni obviously was playing in Bangladesh, when he got run out on zero. But even before that, I played a practice game against him when he just came fresh from India A tour. We were playing in Bangalore and I bowled a bouncer to him and he smashed that bouncer even though I had a deep square leg. It went only for one run but I realised that this guy has power, that's my first memory of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Best moment with Dhoni
The best moment with him was obviously winning the T20 World Cup together. On and off the field, we had so many great memories. We had quite a few meals together. There used to be a time before 2007 when we hardly missed a meal, we always used to eat together.
One unforgettable thing he has said... there have been quite a few things. One thing he always tells the bowlers especially who is bowling at the death, even if you go for 15 runs I'm okay with that because the situation demands at the moment, which makes the bowler relax.