Under pressure after Mumbai failed to clinch the Ranji Trophy title in the last two seasons, captain Wasim Jaffer stepped down from his post today after a stint of four years at the helm but will be available as a player.
"Wasim Jaffer has stepped down from his position as the captain of Mumbai Ranji Trophy team after serving at the position for 4 years.
He led the Mumbai team to 2 Ranji Trophy titles in the year 2008-09 and 2009-10," said Mumbai Cricket Association's joint secretary and senior selection panel convernor Nitin Dalal.
"Jaffer continues to be available for selection in Mumbai team as a batsman. The new captain would be chosen by the selection panel, in all probability, next week," he added.
"Jaffer has written a letter that he wanted to concentrate on his batting. That's the reason he has relinquished captaincy," according to the MCA official.
Dalal, however, denied that left-handed batsman Abhishek Nayar, who has played a few ODIs too, is the front runner to take up the position vacated by Jaffer who, during the course of Mumbai's unsuccessful run this season, became the highest run-getter in the national championship.
"Nayar has denied that he talked to any newspaper reporter that he was ready to take up the job if offered. That was a wrong report," Dalal clarified.
Mumbai ran out of the steam this year to regain the trophy that they have won on 39 occasions at the semi-final stage when they were knocked out by eventual runners-up Tamil Nadu.
The previous season the oft-crowned champions bit the dust against Rajasthan who went on to win the title and retained it this season by overcoming TN away from home.