Having crossed the magical figure of 11,000 runs in the Ranji Trophy, veteran India batsman Wasim Jaffer feels afraid where his life would be without playing the beloved sport. The right-hander dreads thinking about the day, he won't be marking his guard for an innings anymore.
After smashing a characteristically languid and classical knock of 153 against Baroda at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur, the 40-year-old, who played 31 Tests for the country, spoke to Indian Express about his career and where it's going forward.
"Sometimes it happens, you do get bored," Jaffer said, when asked how difficult it is keep motivating himself now, "I missed two seasons of domestic cricket due to injury. I’m not ready to leave this cricket as of now. What will I do after I quit the game?," and expressed, "I go regularly to gym, I have proper diet, proper running sessions. I enjoyed a lot last season. Vidarbha won two trophies last year, Ranji Trophy and Irani Trophy."
"To qualify is big achievement in this part of the world. Money is important but not everything for me. Other day in Mumbai, I went to play club cricket because the enjoyment is still there," he added.
Stating how fear of what one might do beyond playing this sport enforces some to prolong their careers as much as possible, Jaffer took the example of former Indian domestic stalwart, Sithanshu Kothak.
And said, "There is a fear of transformation. Like, I would have to sit at an office 9 to 5 or I have to do coaching. These are big steps to be taken. I too think about it because it will be a new field for me," before stressing, "Once you complete these 20-25 years of playing cricket, I will have to enter a new field. Those who play so long do have a fear of taking that leap."
"I too have fear (about quitting) but if I feel that I am becoming a burden (to my team) I will pack my bags. I don’t want to get that sense, that feeling from my teammates," Jaffer affirmed, though.
"I’m happy to be part of two major wins in Vidarbha’s history. I’m working harder, more than before, to keep my motivation going and keep myself fit. I’m enjoying the role of playing mentor to these young boys," he concluded.