‘Selectors are the best people to answer that’: Wasim Jaffer on not making an international comeback
When one talks about players who left their mark in India’s domestic cricket, there can’t be a bigger name than former India opening batsman Wasim Jaffer. The Mumbai stalwart, who went on to play for Vidarbha in his later years, has an enviable record in domestic cricket.
Jaffer represented India in 31 Test matches and scored 1944 runs at an average of a shade under 35. But despite piling huge runs in the domestic circuit, Jaffer failed to make an international return after getting dropped from the team.
Jaffer recently spoke about his impressive domestic performances and his inability to make a return to the international side despite great numbers in the domestic scene.
“In 2012-13, I was very close to getting selected when Shikhar Dhawan got selected. So, I came very close a couple of times but somehow I missed the bus.” He also added, “The selectors are the best people who can answer that but I definitely kept knocking the door.”
Jaffer, who has one of the best domestic records in Indian cricket with over 19,000 runs to his name playing in 260 first class games with an average of 50.67 and the best score of 314 feels that he was not consistent enough especially at the international level.
He said, “I wasn’t that consistent. If I was, I would have played more than 100 Test matches. I was not that consistent at the international level that is why I got dropped.” He added, “I am famous for my first-class career more than the international cricket that I have played.”
In a recent interaction on Sports Tiger’s show ‘Off the Field’ hosted by Vedant Sharma, Jaffer also spoke about his new role on being appointed as the head coach of Uttarakhand. He said, “It’s quite exciting, something which is very new to me. Even though, I have tried my hand in coaching, but not as a head coach. I have done some batting consultancy and I have played some part in coaching but taking up the whole team is quite exciting and challenging, so I am looking forward to it.”
Jaffer who played the majority of his career for Mumbai made a move to Vidarbha in the latter part of his career. He feels it was about time as he thought that he was not going to play for India at that time and wanted to challenge himself. He said “I kind of got the signal that youngsters are coming through and the selectors might think about dropping me from some format. It’s good that I decided to move to Vidharbha and the kind of things they went on to achieve which I feel very happy and proud of.”
He also commented about the Indian domestic cricket season and said. “Our domestic structure as compared to the other countries isn’t bad, to be honest. We just need a little bit more continuity as every year we keep on changing the structure.”
He further added, “I feel the season should start in October with the Ranji Trophy. It should be ideally followed by the Irani Trophy and after that, a T20 tournament like Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy can be put in place as it is the time when the auction happens. A number of franchise people can see the tournament and scout new talent. Finally, finish the season with Vijay Hazare Trophy.”
Jaffer also said, “I feel we can get away with Duleep Trophy and it’s about time that we don’t play Duleep Trophy and use that one and a half months to give the players a little more break.”
With IPL round the corner, Jaffer believes that the IPL is very important as it provides the monetary benefit and the stage to perform. However, he feels that though there are a lot of positives but youngsters should keep their priorities right. He added, “To pick a player in Test cricket because of his performance in IPL is something which is wrong. I think if he performs well in IPL maybe we can look at him in the white-ball format.”
Jaffer also feels BCCI should allow non-centrally contracted players to play outside India in other leagues. He said, “It completely makes sense to me. If you are not one of the centrally contracted players then one should be allowed. The board can minimize and reduce it to one or two leagues in which the players can participate but not letting any Indian player play anything other than IPL is a bit strict in my opinion.”
Domestic star, Wasim Jaffer represented India in 31 Test matches and scored 1944 runs at an average of 34.11. He also played in 2 ODIs and 8 IPL matches.
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