Former India and Mumbai opener Wasim Jaffer opted to play for free during Vidarbha’s title winning Ranji Trophy campaign this year because he wanted to return the team a favour.
In an interview to Hindustan Times, Jaffer said, “I had a contract with them last season (2016-17) where I was to be paid in three instalments — October, January and March. They wanted me to play a big part in their Ranji Trophy campaign. It didn’t happen due to injury but they never hesitated to pay me.”
“In October I was unavailable due to injury so they didn’t pay, which was fair. But in January, I was fit to play but they didn’t use my services (for limited-overs tournaments) but they respected my contract and paid me the full amount. I wanted to return the favour and called them (to say) I would play for free this season. It worked out well for both sides,” he said.
Jaffer said that he wanted to play for Vidarbha because he wanted to have a part to play. “I wanted to go to a place where I had a part to play, make some contribution to their cricket by guiding youngsters. I have made the right decision,” said Jaffer, who hit a crucial half-century in the final. “Vidarbha have a vision to do well. They want their youngsters to do well. Their rise started in 2009 when they set up the residential academy; it showed they wanted to improve their cricket. Three of their players were in the India under-19 team for the Asia Cup.”
“I am very grateful for whatever God has given me; not bothered about what I didn’t get. I believe in destiny, you get what you deserve. I don’t have any regrets, the respect I get wherever I go is highly satisfying. I am the highest run-getter in four premier domestic tournaments – Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy, Irani Cup and Vijay Hazare – I can’t ask for more,” he added.