Former Indian cricketer Wasim Jaffer who recently resigned as the Uttarakhand head coach has been accused of favouring Muslim cricketers while holding the position. Jaffer had submitted his resignation alleging interference and bias of selectors and the association’s secretary for non-deserving players.
According to reports, Jaffer had a dispute with Cricket Association of Uttarakhand (CAU) secretary Mahim Verma and Chief Selector Rizwan Shamshad. Jaffer had reportedly taken Rs 45 lakh to work as Uttarakhand head coach for a session. Jaffer has accused Verma of interfering in the selection of players. However, Jaffer’s allegations were denied by both Mahim Verma and Rizwan Shamshad.
Jaffer accused of having religious bias and preferring Muslim cricketers
Mahim Verma, who is former vice-president of the BCCI, accused Jaffer of quarreling with Cricket Union officials and trying to break the cricket team due to his religious bias. Verma said that initially they lend full support to Jaffer and accepted his decisions considering that he has scored the maximum runs in domestic cricket.
Verma added that he never pressurised Jaffer regarding the selection of players. He told that Jaffer brought in Iqbal Abdulla, Samad Salla and Jai Bista as guest players. Jaffer forcefully made Iqbal Abudullah the captain of the team instead of Kunal Chandela, alleged Verma. However, the team lost four matches out of 5 in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy T20 tournament due to his decisions, said Verma.
Jaffer got the team slogan ‘Ram Bhakt Hanuman ki Jai’ changed to ‘Go Uttarakhand’ citing religious reason
Verma added that a team was selected on Monday for Vijay Hazare trophy one-day tournament that starts on February 20 keeping Kunal Chandela as the captain. However, Jaffer submitted his resignation the next day. Jaffer was appointed by Appointment Advisory Committee and therefore his resignation has been sent to the committee.
Verma further alleged that the team’s assistant staff used to tell him that Jaffer used to bring a Maulvi during the camp. Navneet Mishra, who has been team manager during Mushtaq Ali trophy reportedly said that three Maulvis had visited the camp. He said that Jaffer told him that the Maulvis had come to read Namaz. This happened twice during the camp.
Mishra further told that the team has been using the slogan ‘Ram Bhakt Hanuman ki Jai’ since last year but Jaffer got the slogan changed to ‘Go Uttarakhand’ saying that the team had members from different religions. Jaffer was suggested the slogan ‘Uttarakhand ki Jai’ but he had a problem with the word ‘Jai’, he said.
Mahim Verma alleged that Jaffer favoured Iqbal Abdullah over Kunal Chandela and therefore he kept Abdullah as opening batsman shifting Chandela to lower spots. Jaffer even prepared a parallel team for the Vijay Hazare trophy and mailed the details to Verma without consulting the selectors. Verma said that Jaffer misbehaved with him on three occasions and told him that he (Jaffer) was not his servant.