After resigning from the position of head coach of Uttarakhand, Wasim Jaffer has now been accused of spreading communal bias in the camp. The 42-year old, in his response, has denied all the allegations made against him on the same.
“The allegations which have been made, these are serious allegations… The communal angle that has been levelled against me, that is very very sad, that I come and speak about it… you all know me and have seen me for a long time, so you all know how I am,” Jaffer said in a press conference on Wednesday.
A day after Jaffer’s resignation, the secretary of Cricket Association of Uttarakhand, Mahim Verma accused the former of favouring Muslim players. He further said the coach had turned down players’ request to use the Hindu chant ‘Rambhakt Hanuman ki jai‘.
Jaffer explained that it was Jay Bista who he recommended as captain for Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. However, the selectors wanted Iqbal Abdullah to lead the side, given the experience he holds as a professional cricketer. He also clarified that it was not him who invited Maulavis to conduct Islamic prayers at the grounds.
“They levelled an allegation that I am in favour of Iqbal Abdulla, that I wanted to make Iqbal Abdulla as the captain, which is absolutely wrong. I was going to make Jay Bista the captain, but when Rizwan Shamshad and the other selectors suggested that I make Iqbal the captain as he is a senior player and has played IPL and is much older…I agreed to their suggestion,” he said.
“There are allegations of me not allowing players to chant ‘Jai Hanuman Jai’. First of all, no players chanted any slogan. We have a few players who are from the Sikh community, and they used to say ‘Rani Mata Sache darbar ki Jai’. So, I once suggested that we should have something like “Go Uttarakhand” or “Come on, Uttarakhand” instead. Like, when I used to be with Vidarbha, the team had “Come on, Vidarbha” as its slogan. And it wasn’t me who chose the slogan, it was left to the players,” he told Indian Express.
“If I was communal, I would have said, ‘Let’s say Allahu Akbar’,” he had added.