Wasim Jaffer excited for new innings as Uttarakhand Ranji team coach
Former India and Mumbai opener looking forward to the challenge of coaching Uttarakhand Ranji Trophy team; no offer from MCA
Former India opener and domestic stalwart Wasim Jaffer is excited about his new assignment as head coach of the Uttarakhand Ranji team. Jaffer, who led Mumbai to two Ranji titles and went on to help Vidarbha emerge Ranji champions twice, has been handed a year-long contract.
"It's a challenge [to be coach] no matter where you go, be it Uttarakhand, Mumbai or any other team. The idea is to help your side improve and be in a good position at the end of the season," Ranji Trophy's highest run-getter (12,038), Jaffer, 42, told mid-day on Tuesday.
"I have not seen the Uttarakhand players but I know they are a talented bunch. They were the first team to qualify for the quarter-finals [in 2018-19] when this new format of Group 'D' was introduced. Besides, they have a nice academy and stadium, so the facilities are good too.
My plan is to promote local talent. If there are some shortcomings then you can fill them with professional players, but as of now, I can't say much," added Jaffer, who represented India in 31 Tests and two ODIs.
Jaffer announced his retirement in March, a few days after scoring a patient 57 against Kerala in his last Ranji game at Nagpur in February.
Jaffer made it clear that he was not approached by the Mumbai Cricket Association to assist them in any capacity. "I had a couple of options but picked Uttarakhand because they have a good structure and are eager to improve their position in domestic cricket. I played against them in the Ranji Trophy quarter-finals last year [he scored 206 to help Vidarbha win by 115 runs at Nagpur in January 2019]. There's nothing against coaching Mumbai but no one approached me or showed any interest. Probably, I was just not in the race [for the Mumbai coach's job]," he said.
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