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Jaffer is the Ranji boss

The opener breaks Amol Muzumdar's record, becomes highest run-getter in the premier domestic event. Anand Sachar reports. Jaffer's journey | The leaderboard

cricket Updated: Dec 23, 2011 01:28 IST
Anand Sachar
Mumbai-player-Wasim-Jaffer-plays-a-shot-during-the-Ranji-match-against-Punjab-at-Wankhede-Stadium-in-Mumbai-HT-Photo-Kunal-Patil
Mumbai-player-Wasim-Jaffer-plays-a-shot-during-the-Ranji-match-against-Punjab-at-Wankhede-Stadium-in-Mumbai-HT-Photo-Kunal-Patil

When Wasim Jaffer caressed leg spinner Rahul Sharma past mid-on with his trademark drive, he not only crossed the half-century mark but also edged past his former Mumbai teammate Amol Muzumdar as the highest run-getter in Ranji Trophy history.

Muzumdar, doing commentary for the Board of Control for Cricket in India's website, drifted into the commentator's seat as Jaffer approached the milestone. “It is only befitting that a fellow Mumbaikar has broken the record,” he said on air.

When Jaffer ultimately made his way back to the pavilion on 82 against Punjab in a Ranji Trophy Elite Group tie at the Wankhede, he led Muzumdar's Ranji Trophy tally of 8237 runs by 32 runs. The Mumbai captain was a happy man at stumps. “I’m very happy. It's the result of all the hard work I have put in. I'm happy in a way but sad for Amol.”

Although Jaffer's appearance suggests he is a laidback player, his body language can be misleading. There is a gritty fighter in Jaffer that has helped him flourish in his 15-year long first-class career. That determination was evident on Thursday. "Going into my second Ranji game against Saurashtra, I knew that if I failed I'd be out. I did not want to let that happen. I scored 314 not out and I went from strength to strength from there."http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/23-12-pg21a.jpg

It would have been natural for Jaffer to select one of his two triple centuries in Ranji Trophy among his most memorable innings, but the team man in him picked another.

“The most memorable for me would be the 98 I scored in the 2003 Ranji final against Tamil Nadu at the Wankhede. I treasure it because that enabled us (Mumbai) to secure another Ranji title.”

He savours his first Ranji season but the one that stands out for him is the year he took charge of the team. “My first season (2008-9) as captain when we won the Ranji Trophy has to be my most memorable season.”

Achieving this milestone does not give him the same feeling as lifting the Ranji trophy. "My proudest moments have to be the seven times I won the Ranji Trophy. Many people finish their career without even a single title."http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/23-12-pg21b.jpg

Jaffer still harbours hopes of adding to his 31 Test Matches he has played in. “Every player plays this format to play for the country. I try and score as many runs as possible so that I can push for a place in the Indian team. So yes, definitely, I think I can still return if I keep scoring runs.” He concluded by adding that he would celebrate with a quiet dinner with his teammates.