Confusion remains over Mohammad Irfan's actual height - the PCB has variously measured him at 6'8", 6'10" and 7'1". If he is indeed 7'1", he could be the tallest cricketer around, surpassing his idol Joel Garner. Irfan is a product of rural Pakistan, hailing from the eastern Pakistan town of Gaggu Mandi, which produced another tall former Pakistan quick, Mohammad Zahid. The lack of opportunities in his home town forced him to quit playing cricket and seek full-time employment to support his family. He was working in a plastic pipe factory and playing club cricket before Aaqib Javed had summoned him to the National Cricket Academy in Lahore. Aaqib was enthused by what he saw and soon after, he was playing first-class cricket for Khan Research Laboratories. He took nine wickets in his second game and ended the season with an impressive 43 wickets in ten games. He came close to national selection when he was named as a replacement for one of the injured seamers for the 2010 World Twenty20, but his name was withdrawn.
He continued to toil away in domestic cricket, and worked on increasing his pace and fitness. His efforts paid off in 2012 as he was picked for the limited-overs series in India, where he was regularly quicker than 140kph, and troubled the batsmen with extra bounce. His performances rewarded him a spot on the tour of South Africa, where he made his Test debut.