'Did the right thing': Anil Kumble backs Wasim Jaffer
Wasim Jaffer's resignation as the coach of the Uttarakhand cricket team has created a lot of controversy. There were media reports that stated that the 42-year-old allegedly favoured Muslim players in selection. But Jaffer responded to those allegations saying that those have caused him immense pain.
Jaffer opened up on the issue after his resignation, saying that bringing the communal angle into it is very sad. He also alleged that there was 'interference and bias of selectors' in Uttarakhand cricket.
Jaffer has found support in former India captain Anil Kumble who has come out and backed the former cricketer in his issue with the state cricket body.
"With you Wasim. Did the right thing. Unfortunately it’s the players who’ll miss your mentor ship," Kumble tweeted.
Jaffer resigned on Tuesday citing "interference and bias of selectors and the association's secretary for non-deserving players" as the reason.
"...jo communal angle lagaya (the communal angle that has been brought up), that is very, very sad," Jaffer said in a virtual press conference.
"They levelled an allegation that I am in favour of Iqbal Abdulla, I wanted to make Iqbal Abdulla as the captain, which is absolutely wrong," he asserted.
"I was going to make Jay Bista the captain, but Rizwan Shamshad and the other selectors suggested that you make Iqbal the captain… he is senior player, has played IPL and is much older...I agreed to their suggestion."
The leading run-getter in Ranji Trophy also dismissed allegations that he brought Maulvis (Muslim religious scholars) to the team's training.
"First of all they said the Maulavis came there in a bio-bubble and we offered Namaz. Let me tell you one thing, the Maulavi, Maulana, who came on two or three Fridays during the camp in Dehradun, I had not called him.
"It was Iqbal Abdulla (Uttarakhand player) who sought mine and the manager's permission only for the Friday prayer," he said referring to the 31-year-old all-rounder, who has competed in the IPL but hasn't played for India yet.
According to Jaffer, prayers took place after the team's training and he cannot understand why it has become an issue.
"While we do our daily prayers in the room, the Friday prayers have to be done in a gathering so he thought it would be better if someone comes over to facilitate...And we did the namaz in the dressing room for five minutes after the nets.
"If I was communal, I could have adjusted the practice timings according to our prayer timings but that's not the way I am," he added.
"...what is a big thing in it, I don't understand."
Jaffer was appointed as the head coach of the state team in June 2020. He had signed a one-year contract with CAU.
Uttarakhand won only one out of their 5 matches in the recent Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.
(with PTI inputs)