Wasim Jaffer, former India opener and domestic cricket giant, retires at 42
Wasim Jaffer, the former India, Mumbai and Vidarbha opener, has finally called time on his career, aged 42. He made his first-class debut in 1996 season, played 31 Tests and two ODIs for India. Jaffer finished his career as the fifth-highest run maker in Indian first-class cricket along with 10 Ranji Trophy titles and numerous other records.
Despite having played his last Test in 2008, Jaffer, a technically sound right-hand batsman, brought the same passion to the domestic cricket as when he wore the India cap. Virtually every domestic season, Jaffer held some sort of record and soon he established himself as a stalwart.
His rich legacy of records include the most Ranji caps (156), the most runs in Ranji cricket (12,038), the most number of Ranji centuries (40), the most catches in Ranji (200), the highest run maker in Duleep Trophy (2545) and the highest run maker in Irani Cup (1294). He was also the only batsman to have breached the 1000-runs per Ranji season twice (2008-09, 2018-19).
Even in Test cricket, where he represented India in the first decade of this century, Jaffer left a strong impression as he opened the batting against some of the best bowling attacks around the world. His 116 in Cape Town is the only instance of an Indian opener scoring a century in South Africa; Jaffer also is part of a unique set of Indian Test openers to have recorded double centuries: he scored 212 against West Indies at St John’s, Antigua in 2006 and then two years later hit 202 against Pakistan at Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
Those two double tons meant Jaffer is only one of five Indians – Virender Sehwag (6), Sunil Gavaskar (3), Mayank Agarwal, Vinoo Mankad the others – to achieve that feat. At the beginning of the 2019-20 Ranji season, Jaffer needed 853 runs to reach 20,000 first-class runs. However, he finished with 19,410 runs, which meant he is now fifth in the all-time list of highest run makers in Indian first-class cricket behind Gavaskar (25,834), Sachin Tendulkar (25,396), Rahul Dravid (23,794) and VVS Laxman (19,730).
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Stats inputs from Hemant Brar