The Cricket Association of Uttarakhand (CAU) secretary, Mahim Verma alleged that coach Wasim Jaffer was making religion-based selections and bringing ‘religious preachers’ to the dressing room and breached the rules of the bio-bubble. The former India opener Wasim Jaffer submitted his resignation and denied any allegations against him. He had also clarified that it was on spin bowler, Iqbal Abdullah’s request that the maulvi had come to the dressing room. Iqbal Abdullah also has clarified his stand on the matter and defended Wasim Jaffer. He claimed that the team manager knew about the maulvi being invited to the dressing room for the purpose of Friday prayers. He was speaking to the Indian Express about it.
Wasim Jaffer on Wednesday tweeted and denied all allegation of making ‘religion biased’ selections in the tem and also ‘communalizing’ the team atmosphere. He had given an explanation on social media regarding the same and cleared the air from his end. He had said that he recommended Jay Bista against Iqbal Abdullah for the team’s captaincy and also that he resigned due to ‘bias’ of selectors that led to the selection of “non-deserving players”. But regarding the allegations of inviting a maulvi in the dressing room, Jaffer said that it was Iqbal’s idea to do so.
1. I recommended Jay Bista for captaincy not Iqbal but CAU officials favoured Iqbal.
2. I did not invite Maulavis
3. I resigned cos bias of selectors-secretary for non-deserving players
4. Team used to say a chant of Sikh community, I suggested we can say “Go Uttarakhand” #Facts https://t.co/8vZSisrDDl
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) February 10, 2021
Iqbal also clarified saying: “We cannot offer Friday’s namaaz without a maulvi. We offered namaaz only when our practice got over at around 3:40 pm. I first asked Wasim bhai if I could call the maulvi for prayers. He told me to get permission from the team manager. I spoke to manager Navneet Mishra and he said, ‘koi nahi Iqbal, prayer-dharm first (no problem, prayer and religion is most important). The manager gave me the permission and that is why I asked the maulvi to lead the prayer.”
Iqbal Abdullah also said that if the team manager had ‘no’ to calling the maulvi, he wouldn’t have done it. Defending his coach, Iqbal Abdullah said: “Wasim bhai always put the team first and never tried to communalise the team. As a cricketer, one never wants to hear such allegations. I spoke to Wasim bhai, he is hurt. These allegations are being made to divert from real issues.” Even cricketer Anil Kumble supported Jaffer in the matter.
With you Wasim. Did the right thing. Unfortunately it’s the players who’ll miss your mentor ship.
— Anil Kumble (@anilkumble1074) February 11, 2021
Now, the CAU has said that they have taken the Wasim Jaffer matter seriously and are questioning the manager for any kind of breach of the bio-bubble. Iqbal said that Wasim Jaffer was hurt after the allegations of ‘communalizing’ the atmosphere came across.