Jaffer Said Take Manager’s Permission: Abdullah on Maulvi’s Visit

Jaffer had said that he had stepped down because of “bias of selectors-secretary for non-deserving players”.

2 min read
Iqbal Abdullah during a training session.

Uttarakhand left-arm spinner Iqbal Abdullah said that it was the team manager who had given the permission to invite a maulvi to the dressing room for leading the Friday namaaz during last month’s training session in Dehradun.

The spinner made it clear that Wasim Jaffer had asked him to speak to the manager Navneet Mishra about clearance for the visit of the maulvi.

“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,” he was quoted as saying by The Indian Express.

The maulvi’s visit has come under the scanner after Uttarakhand coach Wasim Jaffer’s resignation and subsequent allegations that he had not only “communalised” the team atmosphere but also played a part in breaking the bio-bubble protocol.

The Cricket Association of Uttarakhand have asked the team manager to file a report. In a press statement, CAU said they have “taken cognisance of the seriousness of the Wasim Jaffer incident”. It added, “We are already questioning the manager about the bio-bubble breach and will take action against any person / support staff responsible for the breach as players’ health safety is paramount for us.”

Speaking about the bio-bubble breach aspect, Abdullah said “If the bio-bubble was in place, would the team manager have given me permission to call the maulvi? If the manager had said ‘no’ I would not have called the maulvi,” he 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.”

Wasim Jaffer, who resigned earlier in the week, had refuted the claims and said that he had stepped down because of “bias of selectors-secretary for non-deserving players”.

While the majority of the Indian cricket fraternity stayed silent on the matter, the likes of Anil Kumble, Manoj Tiwary, Irfan Pathan and Dodda Ganesh were among those who tweeted in support of Jaffer.

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