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 atmosphere 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 said that he had received feedback from the team that Jaffer had communalized dressing room atmosphere 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 sad.” He refuted all the allegations, “they said I called 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 yes. 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 did not turn down any request. “The team used to say a chant of the Sikh community, I suggested we can say ‘Go Uttarakhand'”, he tweeted.
“If I was communal, I would have said let’s say ‘Allahu Akbar.’ I would 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 real then they should have sacked him before.
“It’s me who resigned on my own,” he said.
Jaffer was appointed the Uttarakhand team 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.