Former Mumbai skipper and India Test opener Wasim Jaffer will miss the first three rounds of Ranji Trophy as he is scheduled to undertake the Haj pilgrimage. The senior batsman has already informed the Mumbai Cricket Association (MCA) about his unavailability during the early part of the Ranji Trophy season.
I will be leaving for Haj in a couple of days. I took the decision to go to Haj when I was in England a few months ago. Everybody in my family has been there already except for me and my wife, Jaffer said.
Jaffer resigned as Mumbai captain last season following differences with coach Sulakshan Kulkarni,who had criticised his leadership. The MCA appointed Ajit Agarkar as his successor,who is set to lead the squad for the first four Ranji Trophy games.
However,Mumbai are unlikely to miss Jaffers experience at least for the first two rounds as the 39-time Ranji champions are expected to field Sachin Tendulkar,Zaheer Khan,Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane.
Mumbai will have a very strong line-up for the first two games. Even for the third or fourth rounds we might have Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma in the squad. So I don’t think it will be much of a problem that I am away, Jaffer added. The 34-year-old is now looking ahead to a season in which he does not have to handle the responsibility of being a skipper.
When you are not the captain,you can concentrate on what you have to do. The captain has to keep an eye on everything. Now,I can play with a free mind.
He also said that he has no issues about playing under Agarkar. Agarkar was the captain in one-dayers and I would go up to him and give my suggestions. We both want the team to do well. There is no point thinking of the past, he said.