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Wasim Jaffer, former India opener and leading run-getter in the Ranji Trophy, on Saturday announced his retirement from all formats of the game with immediate cricket.
Jaffer represented India in 31 Tests and scored 1944 runs, hitting five hundreds and had a highest score of 212. Additionally, the right-handed batsman also played two ODIs for India.
Jaffer, who played for Mumbai and Vidarbha in the domestic cricket, also went on to become first batsman to score 12,000 runs in the Ranji Trophy and remains the only to have played 150 or more Ranji Trophy games.
"First of all, I would like to thank The Almighty Allah, who gave me the talent to play this beautiful game. I'd like to also thank my family - my parents and brothers for encouraging me to pursue the sport as a profession and my wife, who left a cosy life of England to create a lovely home for our children and me," said Jaffer.
"A special thanks to all my coaches, right from my school days to professional cricket, for helping me polish my skills. A heartfelt thanks to the selectors who showed faith in me," he added.
Jaffer also thanked all the captains under whom he played, his colleagues, well wishers, support staff, the BCCI, Mumbai Cricket Association and Vidarbha Cricket Association.
"My gratitude to all the captains I played under and all my colleagues from whom I learnt so much about the game and shared some lifelong memories. I would also like to thank all the support staff who were a constant pillar of support in my long journey," he said.
"Thank you to the BCCI, Mumbai Cricket Association and Vidarbha Cricket Association for giving me the opportunity to represent them," he added.
"My corporate team Indian Oil Corporation Ltd that has looked after me for 20 odd years. My school Anjuman-e-Islam from where my journey to become professional cricketer began. Sudhir Naik sir for giving me opportunity to play for National cricket club.
"I'd also like to thank all the bowlers who bowled tirelessly for me to improve my game and to my well wishers, who have always prayed for me to do well," he continued.
Jaffer hit two doubles hundreds in his Test career and said that he will cherish those feats the most.
"Among moments I will cherish the most is getting my India Test cap, scoring 202 Vs Pakistan, 212 vs West Indies and winning Test series in West Indies and England 2006-07," he said.
"I am honoured to have shared the dressing room with the likes of Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, VVS Laxman, Virender Sehwag, and MS Dhoni to name a few," said Jaffer, who made his India debut in February 2000.
"What can I say about Sachin? i could go on and on about him. He was my role model. Feel really blessed to have watched him play from such close quarters. In my opinion he was one of the best players of that era along with Brian Lara," added Jaffer.
The 42-year-old also spoke about his association with the Mumbai and Vidarbha cricket and what he learnt.
"My longest association was with the Mumbai team and it's here that I learned about the khadoos nature of cricket that Mumbai players are known for.
Represented the 41-time Ranji champions from my under-16 days till 2014. Sanjay Manjrekar was my first captain," said Jaffer.
"I feel privileged to have shared the Mumbai dressing room with Tendulkar, Vinod Kambli, Zaheer Khan, Amol Muzumdar, Nilesh Kulkarni to name few.
"After becoming the captain in 2008, I hope I passed on some legacy to Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Surya Kumar Yadav, Aditya Tare and others," he continued.
"I would also like to thank Chandrakant Pandit for showing faith in me when no team showed any interest to have me as a professional for 2017-18 season. It is because of him that I got a chance to play for Vidarbha again and create history of winning a Ranji Trophy and Irani Cup twice," he added.
Jaffer also said that he was proud to have fulfilled his father's dream.
"My father wanted one of his sons to represent India and I feel proud to have fulfilled his dream," he said.
"After all these years in cricket, it is time to move on. But just like the red ball format which is very dear to me, it's the end of only the first innings. I am looking forward to the second innings in any capacity, be it in coaching, commentary etc. As long as I stay involved with the game as this game has given me so much," he concluded.