Wasim Jaffer    PTI
Wasim Jaffer PTI

Wasim Jaffer achieved his ninth Ranji title as he hit the winning runs for Vidarbha. Jaffer who is turning 40 in less than two months was like a guiding light for the young Vidarbha team. Jaffer s vast experience representing Mumbai proved to be an advantage for Vidarbha as he mentored the youngsters and himself scoring nearly 600 runs. Jaffer is also is also the leading run scorer in Ranji trophy nearing 18,000 runs in first-class cricket. He has also scored most runs (10,665) in the history of Ranji Trophy.

Vidarbha had the talent

“Nobody probably believed that I’d play another Ranji final but here I am with my ninth Ranji Trophy title,” said Jaffer. “Vidarbha had the talent but I think (coach) Chandrakant Pandit brought a lot of discipline, a lot of strictness, he brought the players out of their comfort zone – which was required I feel. These players have the talent but sometimes you need to push them; they don’t know their limits. So with me around, (bowling coach) Subroto (Banerjee) around and Chandu around, you can see what they can do.”

I think just about playing…

“I think just about playing, to be honest. I don’t know anything other than playing cricket. I know I can do a bit of coaching and a bit of commentating, but it won’t give me as much joy. There’s always time to do a lot of these things. As long as I can play and I’m enjoying and helping these players with anything that I can, it gives me a lot of satisfaction. This is the joy that keeps me going and there’s not many years left in me, but currently I’m enjoying playing and I want to continue as long as I can, till my fitness allows me.”

Wasim Jaffer made 595 runs in this Ranji season with 145 being his highest. In the final he scored 78 in the first innings and a run-a-ball 17 not out in the second.

“As long as you enjoy the sport, as long as you enjoy what you are doing and you are contributing to the team, you don’t need to be a burden on the side. I think that holds a lot more importance than statistics,” adds Jaffer.