Record-breaker Wasim Jaffer grateful to Vidarbha for chance after knee injury

Wasim Jaffer missed the 2016-17 Ranji Trophy season because of a knee injury and his employer, Indian Oil, had wanted him to sit and do desk work in office.

Wasim Jaffer made his 57th First-class hundred against Uttarakhand.   -  Vivek Bendre

Ever since his 286 at the V. C. A. Stadium in Jamtha in the Irani Cup match versus Rest of India last March, Wasim Jaffer has been giving a batting lesson - not just to his team-mates but even to the opponents - virtually every time he puts the pads on. Jaffer is in such a great nick that despite being a month shy of turning 41, he, with his sublime 206, is on the cusp of scoring 1,000 runs in a Ranji season, a feat he last achieved 10 seasons ago in his maiden season as Mumbai captain.

With Jaffer returning to his old self of making potent first-class bowling attack look like those on the maidans, accolades have followed for the doyen of domestic cricket. But the veteran has no time to revel in the compliments. After all, just three years ago, Jaffer was struggling to find a team since he had virtually missed the entire 2016-17 season due to a knee injury.

"I had missed a whole season and Indian Oil had decategorised me and wanted me to sit in office and work on the desk. I told them I still have a few years with me but anyway I had to look for a team (as professional)," Jaffer said after his marathon knock.

"There were not many teams who were keen to have me despite me being the highest run-getter in the Ranji Trophy. So many teams turned their back on me and said no, which was eye-opening for me. I am grateful to Vidarbha for giving me the chance and I played for free last year.

Despite having plundered 969 runs, Jaffer knows that the accolades will be short-lived with age not being on his side. "You will get respect only when you are scoring because I have seen teams being reluctant to have me. The moment you flop in two or three innings, the same people will talk ke umar ho gayi hai. It’s the runs that count."

Stats

1 - It was Jaffer’s first double-hundred in Ranji Trophy for Vidarbha

2 - It was Jaffer’s second double for Vidarbha in first-class cricket. With a tally of 969 runs this season, he is second on the list of highest run-getter

3 - It was Jaffer’s third consecutive hundred at Jamtha. He scored 286 versus Rest of India in March, 178 against Mumbai last month ahead of Thursday’s 206

5 - It was Jaffer’s fifth double in Ranji Trophy. His last 200-plus score was 301 versus Saurashtra for Mumbai in the 2008-09 semi-final

9 - It was Jaffer’s ninth double in first-class cricket. Besides the five in Ranji, he has scored two for India, one for India A and one for Vidarbha against Rest of India.