Jaffer breaks Ranji run record
Wasim Jaffer, the Mumbai captain, became the highest run-getter in the Ranji Trophy, surpassing his former team-mate Amol Muzumdar, who was present at the Wankhede Stadium as part of the commentary team and had just moved into the commentator's chair when his record was broken.
It was a typical Jaffer stroke that brought up the milestone after the drinks break in the second session on the second day. He went past Muzumdar's tournament tally of 8237 runs, and also reached his fifty, when he drove a flighted Rahul Sharma legbreak against the turn to the midwicket boundary. Jaffer acknowledged the standing ovation from the Mumbai dressing room and the applause from the handful of supporters with a raised bat. He calmly went back to the job at hand, that of earning Mumbai a big first-innings lead against Punjab.
Looking back on a prolific career, Jaffer said that right from his early days, he knew he would have to score consistently to keep his place in a strong side like Mumbai. "I got a triple-century in my second first-class game, against Saurashtra, and that certainly helped," he said. Jaffer maintained that winning the Ranji Trophy multiple times for Mumbai was what had given him more satisfaction than breaking the individual record.
Muzumdar told fellow commentator Ajay Mehra on air that it was fitting that a Mumbai batsman had broken the record held by a Mumbai batsman and hoped that Jaffer would go on to score thousands of more runs in his career. Though Muzumdar had gone past the erstwhile record-holder Amarjit Kaypee while playing for Assam, he was a permanent fixture in the Mumbai line-up for 16 years till he moved to the eastern state for two seasons in 2009.
Jaffer, who made his first-class debut at the Wankhede in 1996, has made all his Ranji runs playing for Mumbai, something he said he was proud of. He has also Mumbai led to two Ranji titles, and won the trophy on five other occasions.
Abhishek Purohit is an editorial assistant at ESPNcricinfo