On Monday afternoon at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur, as he watched Wasim Jaffer bat at the nets, Sony Cheruvathur's mind went back 16 years ago.
He had taken the new ball for Kerala in the Ranji Trophy match against Mumbai at the Wankhade Stadium. Over a decade and a half later, he is the assistant coach of Kerala, while Jaffer continues to play.
On Tuesday, Jaffer became the first batsman to score 12,000 runs in the Ranji Trophy, during the course of his knock of 57 for Vidarbha against Kerala in the Group A match in the Ranji Trophy.
He was also the first to make 11,000 and 12,000 as well. That bit of statistics alone will tell us why he is such a giant in India's domestic cricket.
“I have never come across any other batsman like him,” Chandrakant Pandit, Vidarbha's coach and former India wicket-keeper, told Sportstar. “His passion for cricket is undying and he always tries to maintain the massive reputation he has built over the years.”
Sony nodded in agreement. “I am 41, so is Jaffer, and it is incredible that he continues to play competitive cricket,” he said. “On the eve of the match here, I saw him practise at the nets for 45 minutes; and that was after a lengthy stint outside the nets.”
Little wonder then Jaffer remains one of the most prized wickets in domestic cricket, though he had played the last of his 31 Tests in 2008. He finished his Test career with 1944 runs at an average of 341.10 and hit five hundreds. In First Class cricket, he has so far amassed 19410 at 46.10 and made 57 hundreds.
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