“Wasim Jaffer is the latest batting sensation from Mumbai. The 18-year-old, who is already much talked about for his skills, made full use of the dead Rajkot Municipal Ground to make a superb 314 not out as Mumbai won the Pepsi Ranji Trophy match against Saurashtra on the basis of a first-innings lead.”
– an excerpt from the article written by Joy Chakravarty in the Indian Express, dated 8th November 1996.
Wasim Jaffer can be rightly associated with the phrase “Sachin Tendulkar of domestic cricket”. The man has been so impeccable when it comes to his domestic performances. While playing for Mumbai in his initial Ranji career, Jaffer has provided some sublime performances with the bat.
Though his outing in international cricket has never been sublime, it becomes imperative to take a peep into the life of domestic cricket circuit’s household name, Wasim Jaffer.
Date of Birth
16 February 1978
22 November 2006
24 February 2000
Right arm off break
Teams Played for
India, Mumbai, Vidharbha, Royal Challengers Bangalore
Wasim Jaffer Biography
Born on February 16, 1978, Wasim Jaffer’s life was soldered with the dream of making big in cricket. His father, Abdul Kader was a bus driver and a tremendous fan of the Indian fast bowler Ramakant Desai and Pakistani batsman Hanif Mohammad. Abdul wished to see that one of his four sons make it big in the game he loved so much, i.e. Cricket.
Abdul Kader might be the happiest father at the moment seeing Wasim Jaffer on the verge of signing off from cricket as the king of domestic cricket.
Jaffer’s childhood comprised of only one dream. A big cricket dream, in lieu of which he lived an abnormal and rigorous routine. Jaffer would take the early morning train of 6.15 to reach his school Anjuman Islam located near the Victoria Terminus (VT). A typical lifestyle of a Mumbaikar. From 7 AM to 9 AM, he used to play cricket. And post school timing, he again took the bat from 2 to 6 PM.
His schedule is an indicator of how Jaffer was embroiled into the dream of becoming a great player. Wasim Jaffer couldn’t get into the Mumbai U-16 in the first attempt. Jaffer remembers that he cried when the setback came because all his years of struggle, training and his family’s dreams were shattered. Mind you; it was only the first attempt.
Jaffer, brick by brick, constructed a castle of runs in different leagues and due to that he earned his Ranji call at the age of 18. Eventually, Jaffer made it into the realm of domestic cricket.
Wasim Jaffer Career
In his second game in the Ranji, Jaffer delivered the verdict to his years of struggles by smashing a triple-century. An 18 -year old, his first Ranji season, carrying the burden of his family’s dreams. Let that sink in.
The amount of maturity Wasim would have possessed at that age is another thing to ponder upon.
Wasim went on to captain Mumbai, and in doing so, Jaffer led Mumbai to their 38th and 39th Ranji title. He is a proven match-winner.
He ascertained his domestic dominance even after switching to Vidarbha where his batting prowess was instrumental in Vidarbha’s two successive Ranji titles(2017-18 and 2018-19).
Here is a statistical view of his first-class and List-A career:
Wasim Jaffer couldn’t replicate his success in international cricket in the same way he did in domestic cricket. There have been few motley performances in his short international career.
His excellent performances in domestic cricket earned him a call from the Indian team for a Test series against South Africa. On February 24, 2000, Jaffer donned the white jersey, but this time it was for the Indian team. And what more could add to the beauty of his debut? The venue off-course! The match was played in Mumbai.
Jaffer couldn’t make a big statement in his debut. The game was terrible for India as well. All the batsmen apart from Sachin Tendulkar found it challenging to counter the Proteas bowling attack. Jaffer scored 4 runs and 6 runs in the first and second innings respectively. All the brouhahas around the batsman were squashed due to his poor performance.
In the second and the last test of the test series, Jaffer managed to score 13 and 23 runs in the first and second innings. Thus, his debut series wasn’t up to the mark.
Since his debut in 2000 until his last game in 2008, Wasim Jaffer has played 31 tests for India. In all, he has 5 centuries and 11 fifties to his name. from the 5, 2 of them are double centuries. He scored 202 against Pakistan and 212 (his highest) against West Indies. Here is an overview of his test stats:
Throwback to when I scored 212 in Antigua way back in 2006. By the way I also hit a six ?. Hope somone emulates my feat in Antigua this test. Reply with who you think will go big. Tell me what were you upto in 2006 and I'll retweet.#wivind #indvwi #throwbackthursday pic.twitter.com/skFbLTSaqK
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) August 22, 2019
The ODI journey
South African cricket team holds a special akin to Wasim Jaffer. If his test debut came against the Proteas in 2006, his ODI debut was also against them, but six years later. Shaun Pollock didn’t allow Jaffer to have a pleasant debut as he cleaned him up at the score of 0.
Thus, Jaffer’s debut brought him a duck. If it was Tendulkar who lonely carried the Indian batting during Jaffer’s test debut, here in the ODI debut it was again Sachin who was carrying the Indian batting.
The series saw Jaffer play his last ODI. He managed to score 10 runs in the second ODI.
Indian Premier League
Although very few may have expected this, but yes, Wasim Jaffer has played 8 Indian Premier League matches. Wasim Jaffer was peculiarly made for long formats of the game. The T20s were never his cup of tea.
Nevertheless, Jaffer played for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the inaugural edition of IPL in 2008. He scored 6 runs in 16 balls in the debut match against Kolkata Knight Riders, a match which is still famous for Brendon McCullum’s fiery innings of unbeaten 158 in 73 balls. He was last seen in the IPL in 2009 while playing for RCB against Rajasthan Royals.
Wasim Jaffer: Family
Wasim’s family is the reason he chose to play cricket. His father put in all efforts to see his son make big in cricket. Wasim, definitely, hasn’t disappointed him. His father, Abdul Khader, was a bus driver back then. Abdul wished that any one of his four sons plays cricket to the highest level.
A bus driver’s salary and the city of Mumbai don’t go well on terms. One of them, Kalim had the talent to play the game. But the monetary conditions of the family never allowed him to pursue the dreams.
He later coached Wasim and helped him learn the basics of the game. The entire family saw their dreams in Wasim Jaffer. That is why Wasim’s achievements are enormous when we take a look at his family conditions back then.
“Father was the only one earning, and my elder brother was a talented player. But the family couldn’t afford it. You had to buy bat or shoes, or have money to travel for competitions and soon, time ran out for him. It was then that they decided that I would play cricket for India.” – Wasim in a chat with Indian Express
The family undertook odd jobs to make their living. They started a pickle business. Wasim’s mother would make 6-7 types of pickles. One of his brothers would travel all day in a rickshaw to sell them. And now, after Wasim has achieved so much, the family salutes every struggle that made them so successful.
Wasim is married to Ayesha who is now proud Ayesha Jaffer.
Achievements of Wasim Jaffer
- Wasim Jaffer has been a part of the Ranji winning teams for 10 times! Eight times with Mumbai and two times with Vidarbha.
- Wasim Jaffer is the first batsman to score 1000 runs or more in a Ranji season twice.
- Wasim Jaffer became the first player to go past 11000 runs in a Ranji career. He apparently is the highest run-getter in Ranji trophy.
- Wasim Jaffer has most centuries in Ranji history. He has scored over 40 centuries.
- Sulakshan Kulkarni and Wasim Jaffer shared a partnership of 459 runs for Mumbai against Saurashtra. They became the first pair of Mumbai to cross 400 run partnership.
Social Media: Wasim Jaffer
Sad to see you go @YUVSTRONG12 but you have given immense pleasure to one and all around the world in that blue jersey. Hardest & cleanest hitter of cricket ball I have seen.
Wish you well in your life post retirement.#championplayer#wewillmissyou pic.twitter.com/bBaUS40DXj
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) June 10, 2019
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) November 2, 2019
If Adolf Hitler tells you to come and play for Germany in 1936 Berlin Olympics and Sir Don Bradman says you score goals like we score runs in cricket, you must be some sportsman. Happy BirthAnniversary to Major Dhyanchand ji, one of the greatest Indian sportsman. #MajorDhyanchand pic.twitter.com/baWUqf3EA6
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) August 29, 2019
Hearty congratulations to Indian Physically Disabled cricket team for winning the Physical World Disability World Series 2019 in England yesterday. They beat the host by 36 runs ??? pic.twitter.com/L3dYSNcZTN
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) August 14, 2019
ICC Hall of Fame should feel proud to have Sachin Tendulkar among his list of all great players who have played this great game.
Should have happened while he was still playing.
Congratulations @sachin_rt paaji??? pic.twitter.com/DJFsMs1FS9
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) July 19, 2019