Vadodara, Mar 15 (UNI) Speculations about Indian seamer Irfan Pathan's growing relationship with a pretty Australia-based girl Shivangi Dev has gained ground with the cricketer deciding to keep mum on the issue.
Pathan, who stayed back in Australia after India's historic triumph against the Aussies in the just concluded Commonwealth tri-series, neither denied nor confirmed the media reports about his relationship with Shivangi.
Faced with a barrage of questions about the speculations involving him and Shivangi, the daughter of an Indian diplomat based in Australia, Pathan today refused to make any comment on it saying that he does not want to be dragged into any controversy.
Talking to mediapersons at his Tandalja residence a day after his return from Australia, the Vadodara speedster said he stayed back in Australia with BCCI's permission as one of his relatives residing there was ill. But he did not reveal the name of his relative and not even allowed the media to ask any question to his father, Mehmoodkhan Pathan, who was also present at the press briefing.
When his attention was drawn to his father Mehmoodkhan's earlier reported statement about Shivangi and his family's support to his inter-religion marriage, Pathan appealed to the media not to involve his family members in the matter.
The family had admitted that Irfan and Shivangi were good friends and the latter had visited their house in Vadodara last year.
Pathan, who grabbed the last two wickets of Australia in the dramatic final over at Brisbane to help India win an ODI series in Australia for the first time, said, ''I really missed the grand reception accorded to the victorious team India in Delhi on March 6.'' When asked about his feeling on being asked to bowl the final over by skipper Dhoni, he said, ''Despite giving away runs in earlier overs, Dhoni had faith in me and I was mentally prepared to bowl the last over as the skipper had already hinted me about the crucial over. Sachin and Harbhajan had also given a boost to my morale before I took the last over.'' Describing the first ever series win in Australia as a huge achievement of team India, Irfan said the credit for this victory must go to skipper Dhoni for having full faith and confidence on the team members and taking right decisions in crucial moments.
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