Wasim Jaffer brought down the curtains on his illustrious cricket career by announcing the retirement from international and first-class cricket on Saturday.
Throughout his entire career, Jaffer remained a highly underrated player in the country despite his exploits in domestic cricket. In fact, he was widely seen as the poster boy of first-class cricket in India.
Jaffer went on to play 260 first-class games in which he scored 19,410 runs at an impressive average of 50.67. The veteran also scored 57 hundred and 91 fifties.
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
Having started his career with Mumbai, Jaffer led the team to its 38th and 39th Ranji title. Last year, he became the first Indian cricketer to feature in 150 Ranji matches.
The 41-year-old was also an integral part of the title-winning Vidarbha team in the last two year. However, his form didn’t fade with time, as the opener scored 1037 runs in the Ranji season last year.
Here’s the full statement of Wasim Jaffer…
Wasim Jaffer’s Full Statement
First of all, I would like to thank The Almighty Allah, who gave me the talent to play this beautiful game. I’d like to also thank my family – my parents and brothers for encouraging me to pursue the sport as a profession and my wife, who left a cosy life of England to create a lovely home for our children and me.
A special thanks to all my coaches, right from my school days to professional cricket, for helping me polish my skills. A heartfelt thanks to the selectors who showed faith in me.
My gratitude to all the captains I played under and all my colleagues from whom I learnt so much about the game and shared some lifelong memories. I would also like to thank all the support staff who were a constant pillar of support in my long journey.
Thank you to the BCCI, Mumbai Cricket Association and Vidarbha Cricket Association for giving me the opportunity to represent them.
My corporate team Indian Oil Corporation Ltd that has looked after me for 20 odd years. My school Anjuman-e-Islam from where my journey to become professional cricketer began. Sudhir Naik sir for giving me opportunity to play for National cricket club.
I’d also like to thank all the bowlers who bowled tirelessly for me to improve my game and to my well-wishers, who have always prayed for me to do well.
Among moments I will cherish the most is getting my India Test cap, scoring 202 Vs Pakistan, 212 vs West Indies and winning Test series in West Indies and England 2006-07.
I am honoured to have shared the dressing room with the likes of Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag, and MS Dhoni to name a few.
What can I say about Sachin? i could go on and on about him. He was my role model. Feel really blessed to have watched him play from such close quarters. In my opinion he was one of the best players of that era along with Brian Lara.
My longest association was with the Mumbai team and it’s here that I learned about the khadoos nature of cricket that Mumbai players are known for.
Represented the 41-time Ranji champions from my under-16 days till 2014. Sanjay Manjrekar was my first captain.
I feel privileged to have shared the Mumbai dressing room with Tendulkar, Vinod Kambli, Zaheer Khan, Amol Muzumdar, Nilesh Kulkarni to name few.
After becoming the captain in 2008, I hope I passed on some legacy to Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Surya Kumar Yadav, Aditya Tare and others.
I would also like to thank Chandrakant Pandit for showing faith in me when no team showed any interest to have me as a professional for 2017-18 season. It is because of him that I got a chance to play for Vidarbha again and create history of winning a Ranji Trophy and Irani Cup twice.
My father wanted one of his sons to represent India and I feel proud to have fulfilled his dream.
After all these years in cricket, it is time to move on. But just like the red ball format which is very dear to me, it’s the end of only the first innings. I am looking forward to the second innings in any capacity, be it in coaching, commentary etc. As long as I stay involved with the game as this game has given me so much.