Wasim Jaffer has revealed that although Vidarbha was his first preference for coaching, VCA Vice-president Prashant Vaidya didn’t receive his call nor did he respond to his messages. Jaffer has further added that he looks up to Balwinder Singh Sandhu and Chandrakant Pandit for coaching philosophy.
After long deliberation and media speculation, Wasim Jaffer took over the role of Uttarakhand head coach for the forthcoming domestic season. In 2018, Uttarakhand played their first Ranji Trophy season with K. Bhaskar Pillai as its coach, but last season, Gursharan Singh took charge and Unmukt Chand was made the captain. With Jaffer being at the helm of the affairs this time, the newly-inducted side has a lot to dream but the Mumbaikar stated that he initially wanted to join Vidarbha, for whom he played a couple of seasons on the domestic circuit.
“Personally, I wanted to join Vidarbha, especially after Chandu sir left. When I decided to get into coaching, Vidarbha was my No 1 choice as I knew most of the people over there—from association to players. So I thought that would be a smooth transition and a good place for me to work. I tried to speak to Prashant Vaidya (VCA vice-president), but he didn’t respond to my calls or messages. So I got the message (that) they are probably not looking at me,” Jaffer told Hindustan Times.
Jaffer had been a close ally with Chandrakant Pandit over the years - both at Mumbai and then at Vidarbha - while Balwinder Singh Sandhu had a great role to play in his evolution as a cricketer. The impact that the duo have had on him, Jaffer believes, will be shown in his coaching philosophy.
“At the start of my career, I quite liked Balwinder Singh Sandhu. He had an eye for talent. I didn’t know the role of a coach at that moment but he was a good coach. Then I worked with Chandrakant Pandit at Vidarbha. Even though I played under him for Mumbai as well but there wasn’t much interaction off the field.
“But in the last three-four years we got to know each other quite a lot. It bonded into a very good friendship. The kind of hardwork and commitment that he puts into his job, I saw that very closely. He transformed Vidarbha. Who would have thought they would win back-to-back Ranji Trophy titles? I think those two guys really stand out,” the recently retired cricketer added.