Kumble helps former India teammate Jaffer


New Delhi, February 11

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

Jaffer, who quit as Uttarakhand coach owing to a dispute with the state association, on Wednesday rejected allegations by the cricket association’s 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 his twitter handle.

The 42-year-old Jaffer, who played 31 Tests for India and is a celebrated name in domestic cricket, said the charge levelled by CAU’s secretary Mahim Verma in a media report, had caused him immense pain.

Jaffer resigned on Tuesday citing “interference and bias of selectors and the association’s secretary for non-deserving players” as the reason.

“…jo communal angle lagaya (the communal angle that has been brought up), that is very, very sad,” Jaffer said in a virtual press conference on Wednesday.

“They levelled an allegation that I am in favour of Iqbal Abdulla, I wanted to make Iqbal Abdulla as the captain, which is absolutely wrong,” he asserted.

The leading run-getter in Ranji Trophy also dismissed allegations that he brought Maulvis (Muslim religious scholars) to the team’s training.

“First of all, they said the Maulavis came there in a bio-bubble and we offered Namaz. Let me tell you one thing, the Maulavi, Maulana, who came on two or three Fridays during the camp in Dehradun, I had not called him. It was Iqbal Abdulla (Uttarakhand player) who sought mine and the manager’s permission only for the Friday prayer,” he said referring to the 31-year-old all-rounder, who has competed in the IPL but hasn’t played for India yet.

In a tweet, he also said he “recommended Jay Bista for captaincy not Iqbal but CAU officials favoured Iqbal”.

Jaffer was appointed as the head coach of the state team in June 2020. He had signed a one-year contract with CAU.

Uttarakhand won only one out of their five matches in the recent Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. PTI



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