When it comes to batting, Mumbai batsman Wasim Jaffer proved to be one of the best produced in the domestic circuit.
However, due to the star-studded Indian lineup, Jaffer could not quite cement a place in the Indian Test side.
Jaffer, who recently announced his retirement from the first-class circuit, finished as the highest run-getter in Ranji Trophy with over 12,000 runs. After starting from Mumbai, Jaffer went on to finish his career at Vidarbha.
Recalling his early days, Jaffer went on to state that he used to watch Sachin Tendulkar bat at school level matches.
“I was lucky that I started my cricket in Mumbai. While I was very young, Sachin was coming up. He had played Ranji Trophy at that time, he was a very big thing. I used to go and watch his school matches. My brother used to take me there,” Jaffer told Sportskeeda.
Tendulkar started attracting people and headlines right from his teenage. Together with Vinod Kambli, the two famous schoolboys notched up a record 664-run unbeaten stand, as two hit their respective triple-ton.
“I haven’t seen anybody who used to get so many people to the ground to watch them. Even if it was a practice or a school game, people used just to stand and watch him. Obviously, he used to score tons after tons even in school cricket. I remember he got out on duck and that was a headline. So, I was lucky that I used to watch him and Vinod Kambli regularly,” Jaffer said.
Mumbai, over the years, has produced a galaxy of batting stars, from Sunil Gavaskar, Dilip Vengsarkar, Ravi Shastri and now, Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer.
“I used to go and watch a lot of corporate games. People like Dilip Vengsarkar, Sanjay Manjrekar, Ravi Shastri and even people from outside like Kiran More and Nayan Mongia used to play those matches, the standard was so high. I always wanted to play cricket, so I wanted to join those players.”
Even the second-highest run-getter in Ranji Trophy cricket, Amol Mazumdar managed to keep up with high standards of batsmen produced by Mumbai.
“Then only you will get noticed throughout a season or two seasons. So, the upbringing was very tough, and that is why Mumbai cricket is so good. Hearing about Gavaskar and watching Sachin Tendulkar playing alongside Manjrekar and Kambli, it was an amazing journey,” Jaffer concluded.