Kolkata:Irfan Pathan's form may have deserted him but not his charms and the handsome Baroda pacer barely avoided an embarrassment on Monday when a female fan here tried to kiss him in full media view.
Two years after Mahendra Singh Dhoni found himself in the embrace of a female fan in front of the Eden Gardens, Irfan went through more or less a similar embarrassment when a 24-year-old of fan tried to plant a kiss on his cheek but found the cricketer taller than she would have liked.
Watch: Irfan Pathan's miss with a kiss
Irfan, on his part, gently pushed her away without being harsh on her.
Shabina Khatun, who works in an insurance company here, got a "life time opportunity" to pose with Irfan and elder brother Yusuf Pathan after she was selected as one of the three winners of a contest during a promotional event.
But after getting on to the stage, she tried to get cosy with Irfan and attempted to kiss him.
"It was a rare opportunity to touch Irfan. I had thought about touching him and speaking to him. But what happened later on was at the spur of the moment and you have seen that all," Shabina, a resident of Park Circus, said.
It was not an intentional act, she insisted.
"I spoke to him and posed with him. I asked him about (his fiancee) Shivangi Dev also and later I asked him for a favour: to hug and kiss him. But he (Irfan) said 'Shivangi would kill me if you do that'. Then I tried to kiss him but failed to reach him," Shabina said.
Shabina was later mobbed by the media and had difficulty coming out from the hotel where the event took place.
Despite the awkwardness of the event, Shabina said she would go home with fond memory of the incident.
"It feels great. After all, how many commoners get such a chance? So it felt great to have at least touched him," she said, surrounded by mediamen.
During India's conditioning camp for Bangladesh tour in 2007, a woman managed to hug Dhoni while the Indian team was boarding a bus at the gate of Eden Gardens to return to hotel.