What makes a cricketer tick for as long as 25 years? For Wasim Jaffer, being relentless and undeterred was his thing, despite being bogged down by many issues.
The 42-year-old veteran right-handed batsman has announced retirement from all formats of game on Saturday after a roaring career.
Amid a lot of career objectives, the domestic juggernaut’s career seemed to be a bit bleak this season, if not for his knee problem which has been troubling him for quite some time now.
Like someone once said, “Women lie, men lie but numbers don’t lie.” You peep into veteran domestic giant Wasim’s career, this seems to be true and the legendary cricketer is a true face of the sport.
Wasim etched his name into history books for his contribution to the domestic cricket — Mumbai and Vidarbha teams. He played for Mumbai for 19 years while he played a significant role in Vidarbha’s historic two consecutive titles in 2017-18 and 2018-19. The 42-year-old retires as the all-time highest run-getter in Ranji Trophy’s history — 12,038 runs.
Wasim seemingly made records every Ranji season. He became the fifth first-class cricketer to retire with the highest number of runs — 19,410. Ahead of him are Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman. Despite being marred by injuries, Wasim made sure his focus was mostly on the game.
Despite not having a very long stint in the Indian dressing room, he never failed to shine whenever he played for the country. His couple of double centuries in the Tests were most celebrated. Of the 10 Ranji titles, he won with teams, eight came with Mumbai and the two he helped Vidarbha clinch the titles.
The last two seasons at Vidarbha gave him a great ending to his legendary career, as Vidarbha for the first time won a Ranji title in 2017-18 and again the next year, only after Wasim strode into the team’s batting camp. In the last season, Wasim became the only Indian to score more than 1,000 runs in a Ranji season for the second time.
As he laid down his blade, Wasim remembered his father’s dreams. “On top of everything, my father wanted one of his sons to represent India and I am happy that I could make his dreams come true,” he said on his Twitter handle.
After 25 years of playing professional cricket, time has come to say goodbye. Thank you @BCCI @MumbaiCricAssoc, VCA, my teammates, media and fans. This is my official statement. pic.twitter.com/xP3wL4u70s
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) March 7, 2020
Well, on his future, he has kept the anticipation alive, saying he is open for coaching or a commentary role.
Hardik Pandya hailed Wasim.
Congrats Wasim bhai
You have always been my favourite batsman 👌
Good luck for the next Innings 🙏🏾
— hardik pandya (@hardikpandya7) March 7, 2020
Former India batsman VVS Laxman wished Wasim luck for the second innings.
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) March 7, 2020
Ajinkya Rahane counted on his memories sharing the dressing room with Wasim in Mumbai team.
— Ajinkya Rahane (@ajinkyarahane88) March 7, 2020
Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor was in all praise for Wasim’s stupendous domestic career and his “frustrating inconsistency” is something which will be missed the most.
A supremely talented batsman of exceptional ability whose frustrating inconsistency at the highest level meant he could never fulfil his undoubted potential, @WasimJaffer14 ended as the @GraemeHick1 of Indian cricket. Salute to a remarkable career with great highs &some lows https://t.co/2vNxDeWViT
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) March 7, 2020