‘Records are meant to be broken, no?’

Former India cricketer Surinder Amarnath is glad to lose the 38-year-old record — of scoring the highest run (235 not out) representing a Ranji Trophy side against Rest of India — to Wasim Jaffer on Thursday.

Former India cricketer Surinder Amarnath said Wasim Jaffer must take things a bit easy and enjoy every moment of the record.   -  V. V. SUBRAHMANYAM

 

“Records are meant to be broken, no?” Surinder Amarnath chuckled on being asked how it felt to lose a 38-year-old record to Wasim Jaffer. In 1980, Amarnath — playing for Delhi — played a knock of 235 against Rest of India in an Irani Cup fixture at the Feroz Shah Kotla.

Until yesterday, that remained the highest run by a batsman, representing a Ranji Trophy side, against the Rest of India.

READ: Jaffer, Satish continue Vidarbha’s run feast

At the VCA stadium in Nagpur on Thursday, Vidarbha batsman Wasim Jaffer not only scored the highest run in the history of the Irani Cup — 285 not out — but he also crossed Amarnath’s figures, 235.

“That’s how cricket is. It’s all about numbers. The record remained with me for so many years, now it belongs to Jaffer. May be tomorrow, it will belong to someone else,” Amarnath told Sportstar, making it clear that he was happy to see his record being tumbled by the 40-year-old Jaffer.

Wasim Jaffer celebrates his double hundred against Rest of India at the VCA stadium in Nagpur on Thursday.   -  PTI

 

While the cricketing fraternity went gaga over Jaffer’s feat, Amarnath — who was travelling from Vadodara to his residence in Ahmedabad — could not watch Jaffer play. “I missed out on his batting, but if someone is fit enough to play, then age can never be the factor,” Amarnath, who played 10 Tests and three ODIs for India, added.

Being the son of independent India’s first Test captain, Lala Amarnath, he has seen quite a few records being broken. “You cannot keep a record for ever. In Irani Cup, there have been players who scored more than me. But yes, all of them had represented Rest of India. So, Jaffer’s innings is definitely a big thing,” the former cricketer said, adding: “I am extremely happy for Jaffer. It is a big day for him.”

In its heydays, Irani Cup was always a fight between the season’s Ranji Trophy champion and the Rest of India, which would eventually be full of top-class Test cricketers.

Highest score against Rest of IndiaYear
Wasim Jaffer (Vidarbha) 285*2018
Surinder Amarnath (Delhi) 235*1980
Gundappa Viswanath (Karnataka) 200*1974

 

But with most of the stars missing out on the tournament, has the Irani Cup lost its significance over the years? “When we played against Rest of India, the side was almost a Test side. Apart from a couple of players, all were India regulars. It was tough to compete,” he said. “In that match (in 1980), we were chasing nearly 500 runs and then, we won it. It was challenging but was all fun,” Amarnath said.

Back home, Amarnath, however, plans to watch Jaffer play on Friday. “I wish him all the success. It’s a great moment for him so, he must take things a bit easy and must enjoy every moment of it,” he said.

Is Jaffer listening?