Mumbai suffer a big blow as Wasim Jaffer switches to Vidarbha

Published 06/22/2015, 5:01 PM EDT
Wasim Jaffer leaves Mumbai Ranji Team


Former Indian opening batsman and the highest ever individual run-scorer in the Ranji Trophy, Wasim Jaffer has switched to Vidarbha from his home team Mumbai.

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Jaffer replaces Rakesh Dhurv and joins S Badrinath and Karnataka’s Ganesh Satish to make Vidarbha’s line-up look even more solid.

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“Wasim will obviously bring in loads of experience and expertise. His presence will not only be handy in the batting department but also with regard to helping young batsmen from Vidarbha hone their skills and take their game to the next level,” said Prakash Dixit, the president of the Vidarbha Cricket Association president.

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Jaffer, who is currently overseas, refused to pitch in any comments till he returns to India. After an illustrious 19-year stint in first-class cricket with Mumbai, Jaffer is 241 runs short of becoming the first batsman to score 10,000 runs in the Ranji Trophy and his decision to switch teams at the tail-end of his career comes in as a surprise.

This would see Jaffer reuniting with Paras Mhambrey, the former Mumbai and India pacer who took over as Vidarbha coach last year. Mhambrey gained a lot of praise for his initiative to rope in three experienced professionals as it worked wonders for Vidarbha last year when they finished third in Group B last season and qualified for the Ranji knockouts after as long as 20 years.

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Jaffer’s decision comes after one of his most forgettable season in first-class cricket wherein he scored just 22 runs from the two games he played after which he suffered from multiple finger injuries. Despite his finger injuries, Jaffer remained with the squad for most of the season and guided a young and inexperienced Mumbai batting line-up.

Jaffer’s absence would be a major worry for Mumbai as they would field one of their most inexperienced side ever with no player having even a decade’s experience in first class cricket.

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Binayjeet Singh

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