Wasim Jaffer, who is currently the highest run scorer in the Ranji Trophy is set to leave his home side Mumbai and join Vidarbha next season.
The 37-year-old, who is in England and is playing club cricket over there ,will be sharing the dressing room with players like S Badrinath and Sathish, who have been playing long enough in the domestic circuit and will be coached by his former Mumbai teammate Paras Mhambrey.
Jaffer refused to comment on his move and said he will only speak after returning to India. After an glorious 19-year career in first-class cricket with Mumbai, Jaffer is 241 runs short of becoming the first batsman to score 10,000 runs in the prestigious Ranji Trophy.
He will be replacing the left arm spinner Rakesh Dhruv as each team can only sign maximum three non-regional players on its roster.
With the inclusion of Jaffer, Vidarbha is set to field a strong side whereas Mumbai will have to rely on a relatively less experienced team in the forthcoming Ranji season.
Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) secretary Prakash Dixit said: “Wasim is a talented cricketer. The basic idea was to bring him here as an additional batsman. He should be like an advisor to the youngsters. Since his cricketing stature is so big, it was easy for us to decide on him,” said Dixit.
So why did Jaffer chose to leave his 19 year old side and join a new squad?
“They are professionals. An association always looks for good cricketers. We both were ultimately on a common platform. We agreed we wanted a batsman and we found him,” said Dixit.
A cricketer needs a no objection certificate (NOC) from his current team if he wants to switch to another but the news is Jaffer hasn’t applied for it.
“We haven’t got any request from Jaffer for NOC. Since he has been one of our important players, we will try to convince him to stay back. But it is up to an individual if he wants to go,” said MCA joint secretary PV Shetty.