With the advent of T20, cricket has become a commercial sport. Even though most boards pay handsome amounts, no cricketer is satisfied these days only with contract amounts and match fees.
Everyone wants that ‘something more’! 95% of international cricketers are popular icons in several T20 leagues across the globe. Some players have even gone to the extent of quitting international cricket at the peak of their careers and focusing only on T20 leagues.
But have you heard of anyone who has played an entire cricket season without charging a penny? Well, you might just hear of one now! Wasim Jaffer played the entire 2017-18 season for Vidarbha without charging any fees from his stateside!!
Speaking to Hindustan Times, Jaffer said, “I had a contract with them last season (2016-17) where I was to be paid in three installments — October, January, and March. They wanted me to play a big part in their Ranji Trophy campaign. It didn’t happen due to injury but they never hesitated to pay me.
“In October I was unavailable due to injury so they didn’t pay, which was fair. But in January, I was fit to play but they didn’t use my services (for limited-overs tournaments) but they respected my contract and paid me the full amount. I wanted to return the favor and called them (to say) I would play for free this season. It worked out well for both sides.”
Vidarbha was crowned champions for the first time in Ranji Trophy history. Jaffer was there to hit the winning runs and seal the deal. Speaking of Vidarbha’s success he said, “Vidarbha have the vision to do well. They want their youngsters to do well. Their rise started in 2009 when they set up the residential academy; it showed they wanted to improve their cricket. Three of their players were in the India under-19 team for the Asia Cup.”
Jaffer, 39, vows to continue playing till his body cooperates. “I am very grateful for whatever God has given me; not bothered about what I didn’t get. I believe in destiny, you get what you deserve. I don’t have any regrets, the respect I get wherever I go is highly satisfying. I am the highest run-getter in four premier domestic tournaments – Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy, Irani Cup and Vijay Hazare – I can’t ask for more,” he added.
Gautam Gambhir lauded Wasim Jaffer’s effort with a tweet. “Proud of u Wasim Jaffer on keeping money on the back foot. In times when greed, sly and ‘bottom line’ are being identified wid Indian cricketers,u have proven to be a shining light, a real role model. Wish @bcci makes a mention of this @BCCIdomestic”
– by Atharva Apte