Former Indian opener Wasim Jaffer, who quit as the Uttarakhand coach recently, rejected the allegations by the Cricket Association of Uttarakhand (CAU), that he had “communalized” the dressing room environment and “favored” Muslim players.
On Tuesday, Jaffer in his resignation letter had accused the CAU officials of pushing “undeserved players.”
A day later Mahim Verma, the unit secretary of the association in a media report stated that he had acquired feedback from the staff that Jaffer had communalized dressing room environment and favored Muslim players. He also reportedly accused Jaffer of inviting a Maulavi to the ground and turning down some player’s request to use the Hindu chant “Rambakt Hanuman ki jai.”
Jaffer responded in a virtual press conference on Wednesday that “the communal angle that has been brought up is very unhappy.” He refuted all the allegations, “they stated I known as a Maulvi and offered Namaaz on the ground. First of all, I didn’t call a Maulvi; it was Iqbal Abdullah who called him. On Friday, we needed a Maulvi to offer Namaaz. Iqbal asked me, and I said sure. The practice was over and we offered Namaaz inside the dressing room. This happened only twice or thrice, that too before the bio-bubble was put in place.”
Jaffer in his tweet pointed out that he didn’t flip down any request. “The staff used to say a chant of the Sikh community, I suggested we can say ‘Go Uttarakhand’”, he tweeted.
“If I was communal, I’d have stated let’s say ‘Allahu Akbar.’ I’d have scheduled practice in the morning so that I can offer my Namaaz in the afternoon,” he had told The Indian Express.
At the press conference Jaffer has pointed out that if these allegations were actual then they should have sacked him earlier than.
“It’s me who resigned on my own,” he stated.
Jaffer was appointed the Uttarakhand staff coach in June 2020. He has played 31 Tests for India and has about 20,000 first-class runs.
Support from fellow players
Meanwhile, Jaffer has received support from the cricket fraternity of the country
Jaffer’s former India teammate Anil Kumble was one of the first to lend his support. “With you Wasim. Did the right thing. Unfortunately it’s the players who’ll miss your mentor ship,” Kumble said.
“Unfortunate that you have to explain this,” Irfan Pathan tweeted.