It’s the time to celebrate the career of Wasim Jaffer. He was a special player. What he has achieved as a player is fantastic. For any player to be able to play for such a long time and perform consistently well is a testament to his commitment and dedication. Wasim’s strength has been his temperament. He is very calm by nature and doesn’t get too hyper. That makes a huge difference to people around you.
He has been a fantastic ambassador for cricket. His contribution to Mumbai cricket has been incredible.
I remember the time when he was a part of the Indian team. We practised together quite a bit. I always believed we worked together as a team and I got that time to spend with him. We shared a number of things with each other.
Wasim was a man of very few words. He would stay calm and composed under pressure and that is something which not many players possess. That has been his strength. One of his top qualities is that he had so much time to play fast bowling. That’s an important element for any player, especially an opening batter.
He has done magnificently against top-class fast bowlers. He batted so well for his hundred against South Africa in Cape Town, as also for his double century against Pakistan in Kolkata. He was a batsman who attacked a lot. He was never a defensive player. Wasim possessed that quality –while he was attacking, the opposition didn’t realize that they were being attacked. Only when they looked at the scoreboard did they realise that he’s off to a flier. For any team, his was one of the top wickets. In first-class cricket, it always became important to dismiss him early. Along with his temperament and ability, Wasim could maintain his concentration level for long hours. He was always a threat, if you didn’t dismiss him early, then one had to prepare for a long fielding session.
(As told to Gaurav Gupta)