Batting legend Sachin Tendulkar has paid rich tributes to the retiring Wasim Jaffer calling him a ‘fantastic ambassador for cricket.’ Also Read - Virat Kohli, Sachin Tendulkar, Mary Kom Participate in Lights Off Challenge as Sporting Fraternity Unite in Fight Against COVID-19 Pandemic by Lighting Candles, Lamps
Jaffer announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on Saturday at the age of 42. The domestic cricket giant holds a host of Ranji records including the most caps (156), most runs (12,038), most centuries ()40, most catches (200) among others. Also Read - MS Dhoni Hardly Sat in Business Class During Domestic Flights, Preferred Sitting With TV Crew: Sunil Gavaskar
“He has been a fantastic ambassador for cricket,” Tendulkar was quoted as saying by The Times of India. “His contribution to Mumbai cricket has been incredible.” Also Read - Easy to Talk About Taking Pay Cuts if it Doesn't Hurt You: Sunil Gavaskar Takes Dig at Ashok Malhotra
Jaffer played majority of his domestic cricket for Mumbai before joining Vidarbha. The opening batsman also played 31 Test and two ODIs for India.
He continues to be the only India opener to have scored a Test century in South Africa.
“He has done magnificently against top-class fast bowlers,” Tendulkar said. “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.”
He continued, “Wasim possessed that quality –while he was attacking, the opposition didn’t realise 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.”
Praising his temperament and level of concentration, Tendulkar said removing Jaffer early was critical for any team because once he was settled, it would become difficult to dislodge him. “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,” he said.
He added, “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.”