Mohammed Irfan is a 7’1” Pakistani cricketer. That’s right, he’s 7’1” and he plays cricket. It goes to show that big height can be a big bonus in more sports than just basketball. Perhaps Shorts should ask Talls, “Hey, do you play cricket?”
Although Mohammed has recently been banned from cricket for failure to report illegal approaches made towards him to throw games, he still earns a spot in TallSlim Tees’ Tall of Fame as the tallest cricketer ever.
Raised in rural Pakistan, hailing from the eastern town Gaggu Mandi, Mohammed gradually rose through the ranks to become one of the great fast-bowlers of our day. During his rise his height was reported differently at 6’8”, 6’10” and 7’1”, but he has, in fact, confirmed his height to be 7’1”, which makes him the tallest cricketer, surpassing even his idol Joel Garner.
Before becoming a professional with a salary of over $70,000, he had quit the game to seek full-time employment and support his family. During that period, he found himself working long days and nights in a plastic pipe factory. Then Aaqib Javed summoned him to the National Cricket Academy in Lahore, Pakistan. There, Mohammed impressed Javed, and Javed recommended him to the first-class cricket team Khan Research Laboratory. At the same time, KRL opener Azhar Ali also recommended him to KRL and convinced Coach Rashid Iqbal to put him on the field.
Mohammed made his first-class, domestic debut in the QEA Trophy in 2009 playing for KRL. His first game was a bit of a disappointment, but in his second game he took 9 wickets. He ended his first season with an impressive 43 wickets in ten games.
(No idea what a wicket is? Watch this.)
His career continued on to mostly mixed reviews until his efforts paid off in 2012 when he was picked for the limited-overs series in India. He had been training for years to increase his pace and fitness and in that series he challenged the batsmen by pitching with speeds that reached 90 mph, bringing the ball in with some extra bounce. His performance here landed him a spot on the tour of South Africa.
In South Africa, 2013, he was touted as “the surprise package,” again troubling the South African batsmen with his pace and height.