Wasim Jaffer on Wednesday became the first batsman to reach the 11000-run mark in Ranji Trophy history. The veteran batsman, who shifted his base from Mumbai to Vidarbha few seasons ago, slammed 153 against Baroda at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur. He spoke to The Indian Express about his landmark milestone, and why he is afraid to quit cricket at this moment.
How do you see these 11,000 thousand runs?
Playing for a different state is always a challenge and I’m happy to be part of two major wins in Vidarbha’s history. I’m working harder, more than before, to keep my motivation going and keep myself fit. I’m enjoying the role of playing mentor to these young boys.
Do you ever get bored? Waking up early, training, etc… as people do lose motivation?
Sometimes it happens, you do get bored. I missed two seasons of domestic cricket due to injury. I’m not ready to leave this cricket as of now. What will I do after I quit the game? I go regularly to gym, I have proper diet, proper running sessions. I enjoyed a lot last season. Vidarbha won two trophies last year, Ranji Trophy and Irani Trophy. To qualify is big achievement in this part of the world. Money is important but not everything for me. Other day in Mumbai, I went to play club cricket because the enjoyment is still there.
Sitanshu Kotak had once said he had a fear about what he will do after cricket, so that was the main reason for him to prolong his career.
Do you ever feel like that?
There is a fear of transformation. Like, I would have to sit at a office 9 to 5 or I have to do coaching. These are big steps to be taken. I too think about it because it will be a new field for me. Once you complete these 20-25 years of playing cricket, I will have to enter a new field. Those who play so long do have a fear of taking that leap. I too have fear (about quitting) but if I feel that I am becoming a burden (to my team) I will pack my bags. I don’t want to get that sense, that feeling from my teammates.
Do you remember the moments of passing those landmark scores, be it 1000, 2000, 5000 runs?
For me runs matter, not the milestone. I remember 10,000 runs I scored in Ranji Trophy. One of the Ranji Trophy finals, I and Sachin scored hundred each and Mumbai Cricket Association had honoured us.
You are respected all across in domestic cricket but has there been a time when players have pleaded you to get out? or they have sledged you?
They do try, (koshish karte hain) but it’s on friendly terms. It’s only due to respect. Like when Rahul Dravid used to come to bat, there was a natural sense of respect in the opposition.