India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane on Friday steered clear of the controversy surrounding domestic stalwart and his former Mumbai teammate Wasim Jaffer, who is fighting allegations of trying to push religion-based selections during his stint as Uttarakhand coach. Jaffer, who quit as Uttarakhand coach owing to a dispute with the state association, has rejected the charge by the Cricket Association of Uttarakhand officials that he favoured Muslim players in the team.
“Sir, I don’t have an idea regarding this issue, what has happened, so I don’t think that I should comment on this topic, because I don’t have an idea,” Rahane said at the virtual press conference on the eve of the second Test against England here.
Rahane and Jaffer, who is the leading run-getter in Ranji Trophy, have together played for Mumbai and the West Zone. They also have played together for the Indian Oil Corporation.
The 42-year-old Jaffer, who played 31 Tests for India and is a celebrated name in domestic cricket, said the charge levelled by CAU’s secretary Mahim Verma in a media report, had caused him immense pain.
Jaffer had resigned on Tuesday citing “interference and bias of selectors and the association’s secretary for non-deserving players” as the reason.
“…jo communal angle lagaya (the communal angle that has been brought up), that is very, very sad,” Jaffer had said in a virtual press conference on Wednesday.
“They levelled an allegation that I am in favour of Iqbal Abdulla, I wanted to make Iqbal Abdulla as the captain, which is absolutely wrong,” he had asserted. Jaffer had found support from spin legend Anil Kumble, a former India captain and coach who currently heads the ICC’s cricket committee, among others. Former India players Irfan Pathan, Manoj Tiwary, and former Mumbai batsman Shishir Hattangadi have also stood behind Jaffer on the issue.