I have known Wasim ever since he made his Ranji Trophy debut, so it becomes all the more nice that someone who is known to you has surpassed your record yet again.
You don’t play for records, but sometimes it does bother you. At the back of your mind you know about them. If somebody denies this, he is not being true to himself. These thoughts don’t keep you going for that record, but it is a kind of motivation.
I first heard about Wasim when he scored 400 in an inter-school game. The word spreads around immediately. He came into the Mumbai dressing room the following year and he replaced my good friend Sunil More as an opening batsman. He didn’t get many runs in the first game, but scored a triple hundred in his second match.
You could see his talent and skills instantly. He went on to score a lot of runs in his first season (1996-97). We won the Ranji Trophy and it was one of the most satisfying year for me and the team as well.
Runs go hand in hand with Wasim. I don’t remember a season where he hasn’t got runs. So, it is not surprising that he is amongst the top five run-getters for Mumbai this season in spite of missing out on a few games early on in the season (due to Haj pilgrimage).
I went past Amarjeet Kaypee and then he went pass me in the last season because I missed a full first-class season for the first time in 19 years. I again became the highest run-scorer this season and now he has again surpassed me. I would say it is healthy competition.
We don’t talk about the record at all. It is an unwritten rule to not talk about your achievements.
I have great admiration for him, his work ethic and tenacity. The best thing about Wasim is that he is unflustered. You will never find his emotions rising. He will always be calm and composed in any situation.
— As told to Harit N Joshi
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