I'm After My Last Legs, But I'm Enjoying My Cricket Jaffer > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - I'm on my last legs but I'm enjoying my cricket - Jaffer

Wasim Jaffer says he is game for another season, at least

The time, probably, hasn't come yet for Wasim Jaffer to hang his overused boots. Given his voracious appetite for runs, the 41-year-old, fresh from yet another Ranji Trophy title winning season (second one with Vidarbha), however was frank enough to admit that he is on his 'last legs'. That said, he wasn't sure of calling it a day as he is 'still enjoying his cricket'.

No one can doubt his claim as the stylish top-order batsman has been prolific over the last two seasons for Vidarbha. But things weren't exactly smooth when Jaffer took the big decision to switch over to a new team after serving Mumbai tirelessly for close to a couple of decades.

"In 2014-15, when I decided to quit, the Mumbai selectors were not keen to pick me. But I did manage to convince them and emerged as the highest rungetter in Vijay Hazare. But I was ruled out of the entire season after breaking my finger in the first match against Jammu & Kashmir. I felt that that I shouldn't get in the way of a youngster and decided to move on.

Unwanted despite being the highest run-getter in domestic cricket, Jaffer had even offered his services for free. But no team was willing to sign him until Chandrakant Pandit took over the Vidarbha job.

"I played for Vidarbha for two seasons. But they were not willing to renew my contract. I was willing to play for free. I spoke to a lot of states, including Kerala. However, they refused. But when Mumbai removed Pandit as coach and Vidarbha signed him up, I told him that I was interested in playing for Vidarbha - even if it was for free. He spoke to Prashant Vaidya, and they agreed," Jaffer recalls.

If he had managed to get his career back on track, Jaffer was facing tough times with his employers, Indian Oil. "I am indebted to them for giving me a job when I was only 20. However, when I got injured in 2017 and was on a rehab program, I was asked by my boss to quit playing cricket and work 9-5 along with few other cricketers. That was a big shock. I kept pleading that I still have lot of cricket left in me, but to no avail. I was upset with that. I request people who take such decisions to give some leeway to sportspersons. Let them play as long as they're playing well," says Jaffer.

Jaffer, however, wasn't someone who would take that adversity lying down. He worked extra hard on his fitness and that helped him to bat at length despite his age.

Meanwhile, for someone who has given a lot to Mumbai cricket, Jaffer has a few recommendations to improve the plight of his former team. "You need to give a coach at least a two-year term. And you need to give him the freedom otherwise it's not fair to question him. It's not fair to blame the selectors too. It's not just the senior team, but all the other age group Mumbai teams have performed poorly this season. Somewhere down the line, Mumbai needs to restructure its club cricket," he points out.

On his next career move, Jaffer says he is game for another season, at least. "I'm on my last legs, but I'm enjoying my cricket. If Pandit stays on at Vidarbha, I'd love to play another season for them," he concludes.

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