Digital Desk (Bhopal). Former Uttarakhand cricket team coach and former Indian opener Wasim Jaffer, who is facing allegations of selection of the team on religious grounds, has clarified that he never stopped the players from shouting slogans of Jai Shri Ram and Jai Hanuman. Officials of the Uttarakhand Cricket Association (CAU) have accused Jaffer of trying to involve players in the state team on religious grounds for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Jaffer was then the coach of the Uttarakhand team, but resigned from his post after being accused of it.
Jaffer told IANS that the first thing is that the players never shout slogans of Jai Shri Ram and Jai Hanuman in the team and neither has they ever stopped the players from doing so. He said, the first thing is that do not chant such slogans (Jai Shri Ram and Jai Hanuman). Whenever players play a match or practice match, they say Rani Mata Sach Durbar Ki Jai. I have never heard him say Jai Shri Ram and Jai Hanuman. This slogan (Jai of Rani Mata Sach Darbar) is associated with the Sikh community and two players in our team were from this community, so they used to raise such slogans (Rani Mata Sach Durbar ki Jai).
The former Test batsman further said that when the Uttarakhand team reached Baroda to play in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, they had inspired players to raise slogans like Go Uttarakhand, Lets do it Uttarakhand or Kamaon Uttarakhand.
He said, I inspired him to raise such slogans because when I was in Vidarbha’s team, Chandu sir (Coach Chandrakant Pandit) used to raise such slogans. This was because there were around 11-12 players in the team, who were from different communities. All the allegations leveled against me are baseless and baseless. If I were religious I would have inspired him to call Allah Hu Akbar.
Under Jaffer, who scored 1944 runs in 31 Tests for India, Uttarakhand’s team managed to win only one of the five matches in the group stage in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. CAU officials had accused Jaffer that Jaffer recommended all-rounder Iqbal Abdullah to be the team captain of Uttarakhand for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. But Jaffer says he recommended Jai Bista to be the captain of the Uttarakhand team, but CAU secretary Mahim Verma and selection committee chairman Rizwan Shamshad recommended Abdullah to be the captain.
Jaffer said, I told him that Jai Bista should be made the captain. I told him that he is young and I want him to lead the team. They had agreed. But later Shamshad and Verma say that Iqbal makes Abdullah the captain. I said okay, make them captain. He continued, this is extremely disappointing. I wrote everything in the mail. But he did not respond. So they want to give it a religious angle and are making religious allegations against me.