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Dual-armed brilliance: Who is Fatima Jaffer, Mumbai Indians' rare ambidextrous bowler?

Updated on: 22 February,2024 02:06 PM IST  |  Bengaluru
mid-day online correspondent |

Fatima, sister of upcoming Mumbai batter Armaan Jaffer, gave credit to father Kaleem Jaffer, a respected coach in Mumbai circles, for supporting her

Dual-armed brilliance: Who is Fatima Jaffer, Mumbai Indians' rare ambidextrous bowler?

Fatima Jaffer (Pic: Mumbai Indians)

Cricket runs in her blood, but the young Fatima Jaffer from Mumbai Indians has chosen to trot on a different path, defying the family tradition. The niece of former India and Mumbai batter Wasim Jaffer, Fatima has taken to bowling instead, and that too in a quirky way.


She is one of the rare ambidextrous bowlers in the Indian domestic circuit, a right-arm medium pacer who can fill in the role of a left-arm spinner when the situation demands so. But her beginning as an ambidextrous bowler happened in a less than creditable circumstances.


"I got into the Mumbai side as a right-arm pacer. But in the first match that I played, three of our spinners got called for chucking,' Fatima was quoted in the MI website ahead of the WPL 2024 opener.


However, the unfortunate turn of events opened a door to Fatima. "My then coach knew that I used to practice left-arm spin, not as a profession, just for fun. So, he came up to me and asked me if I could bowl it in the match. The first ever match I bowled in as a left-arm spinner, I got three wickets. Then I got five in the next game," she said.

Also Read: No pressure on domestic Mumbai Indians players in WPL 2, says batting coach Palshikaar

But she needs hours of training to keep the novelty factor going in her bowling.

"It takes a lot of practice. There's no real control in your left hand," said Fatima, who was a net bowler with MI in WPL 2023 before getting drafted into the side during last year's auction.

Fatima, sister of upcoming Mumbai batter Armaan Jaffer, gave credit to father Kaleem Jaffer, a respected coach in Mumbai circles, for supporting her.

"I was around seven or eight when I first started to play cricket. It was my father's decision. He asked me to play cricket because he wanted one of the girls from the family to play cricket," she said.

Fatima said the constant discussion about cricket with her father has helped her develop as a player.

"He never stopped me from doing anything. He always encouraged me to play cricket. Even when I'm not doing well, he comes up to me and encourages me. There's no major difference between Kaleem Jaffer the father and Kaleem Jaffer the coach. We mostly discuss only cricket even at home," she added.

The WPL 2024 will kickstart on Friday with a high-profile match between defending champions Mumbai Indians and runners-up Delhi Capitals.

(With agency inputs)

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