Wasim Jaffer, the former India opener, had recently resigned from his position of the head coach of the Uttarakhand state team and has now refuted all the allegations made against him for being communal and non-cooperative with the state association officials. Instead, he has stepped down citing interference and bias of selectors and secretary as the reasons for his resignation.
Secretary of Cricket Association of Uttarakhand (CAU) Mahim Verma and team manager Navneet Mishra, had levelled allegations of Wasim Jaffer being communal in the dressing room and bias in player selection matters. They had alleged that Jaffer demanded the presence of a Maulavi inside the team bubble and based his selection decisions on the communal bias, favouring Muslim players.
If there was indeed a communal bias, I wouldn’t have resigned, they would have sacked me: Wasim Jaffer rubbishes all allegations
“The allegations which have been made, these are serious allegations… The communal angle that has been leveled against me, that is very very sad, that I come and speak about it… you all know me and have seen me for a long time, so you all know how I am,” Wasim Jaffer said in a press conference on Wednesday.
“I never took any of the suggestions that were thrown at me (with regards to the batting order). All the players who played in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, I played them on my belief. I even dropped Samad Fallah for the last game. Had I been communal, both Samad Fallah and Mohammad Nazim would have played all the games. It’s a very petty thing to say or even think. I wanted to give opportunities to newer players,” he added.
1. I recommended Jay Bista for captaincy not Iqbal but CAU officials favoured Iqbal.
2. I did not invite Maulavis
3. I resigned cos bias of selectors-secretary for non-deserving players
4. Team used to say a chant of Sikh community, I suggested we can say "Go Uttarakhand" #Facts https://t.co/8vZSisrDDl
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) February 10, 2021
He also added that had he been communal, he wouldn’t have brought in former Mumbai player Jay Bista into the Uttarakhand team as a professional and mentioned that he wanted to make Bista the captain of the team as well.
“Had I been communal, why would have I brought Jay Bista as a professional? I even wanted to make him the captain. It was the selectors who felt that Iqbal Abdullah was a better candidate for captaincy since he was senior and had played IPL. I agreed with their suggestion The Maulavi, Maulana, who came on Friday, I had not called them, and the Maulana were called by Iqbal Abdulla. He probably knew someone in Dehradun and on Friday, there is prayer in a gathering, Jumma Namaz,” Jaffer explained why a Maulavi had entered the bubble,” Jaffer added.
Dodda Ganesh backs Wasim Jaffer on his defence of the allegations levied against him
Former India pacer Dodda Ganesh backed Wasim Jaffer on his stance and posted a statement on his official Twitter account.
“Dear Wasim Jaffer, you’ve 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”: the 47-year-old tweeted.
Dear @WasimJaffer14, you’ve 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. https://t.co/wZFPPmOVa3
— ದೊಡ್ಡ ಗಣೇಶ್ | Dodda Ganesh (@doddaganesha) February 11, 2021
After the controversy, many former and current players have come out in support of Wasim Jaffer. Notable names include legendary Indian spinner, Anil Kumble, former all-rounder, Irfan Pathan, and Dodda Ganesh.