I’m with you, Kumble tells Jaffer

New Delhi, February 11

Spin legend Anil Kumble today extended support to his former India teammate Wasim Jaffer after the Cricket Association of Uttarakhand (CAU) alleged that Jaffer had tried to force religion-based selections as coach.

Jaffer, who quit as Uttarakhand coach owing to a dispute with the state association, yesterday rejected allegations by CAU officials that he favoured Muslim players in the team. He got support from Kumble, a former India captain and coach who currently heads the ICC’s Cricket Committee.

“With you Wasim. Did the right thing. Unfortunately it’s the players who’ll miss your mentor ship,” Kumble wrote on Twitter today. Kumble, incidentally, is Jaffer’s colleague as part of IPL team Kings XI Punjab’s coaching staff — Kumble is the director of cricket operations and Jaffer is the batting coach.

Former India opener Wasim Jaffer first played Ranji Trophy for Mumbai in October 1996, and his last Ranji game for the team of the city of his birth was over 18 years later, in January 2015. In this duration, he played 130 matches for Mumbai, yet not a single Mumbai player had spoken in solidarity with him at the time of going to press. Jaffer played 31 Tests and 2 ODIs for India.

However, two other former India players — Manoj Tiwary of West Bengal and Dodda Ganesh of Karnataka, supported Jaffer. “You have been a great ambassador of the game and represented India with pride. Cannot believe that this could happen to someone like you. You’re a gem of a cricketer and human, brother. Cricket world knows you and your integrity,” Ganesh wrote in a post addressed to Jaffer.

“I would request the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand… to intervene immediately and take note of the issue in which our national hero Wasim bhai was branded as communal in the cricket association and take necessary action. Time to set an example,” Tiwary wrote on Twitter.

The 42-year-old Jaffer, who is one of the most respected players in domestic cricket, said the charges levelled by CAU secretary Mahim Verma had caused him immense pain. — PTI, TNS

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