'Religion is an individual thing and never comes in between sportsmen' - Mohammad Kaif opens up on Wasim Jaffer controversy

Mohammad Kaif has come up with some questions for Jaffer.

Mohammad Kaif and Wasim Jaffer
Mohammad Kaif and Wasim Jaffer. (Photo Source: Instagram)

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Wasim Jaffer now finds himself in the middle of a controversy after he tendered his resignation and will no longer be the coach of Uttarakhand. This would not augur well for the side, as they have an important tournament in the form of the Vijay Hazare trophy that is coming up. It has been alleged that Wasim Jaffer tried to select players in the side based on their religion.

Now, Mohammad Kaif has come up with some questions for Jaffer. In his column for The Indian Express, Kaif has questioned Wasim Jaffer as to when religion started playing a role in sport. Kaif has even stated that even though he has played for several clubs across the world and also for various states in the country, he has never been conscious of the ‘faith’ of the other person.

Kaif also wrote that there are better things to worry about, like the lack of runs or a worry on how to win a particular match. He also stated that he had never ever gone to sleep thinking about the religion he belonged to.

“When did religion come in the way of sport? I have played for teams in UP, different zones across the country, India, clubs, and counties in England, and never have I been made conscious of my faith. I have worried about lack of runs, motivated my team-mates in bad form, wondered about how to win games. Never have I gone to sleep wondering what a team-mate might think of my religion,” wrote Kaif for The Indian Express.

It must have been difficult for you Jaffer: Mohammad Kaif

Kaif further wrote that it would indeed be a real challenge for Jaffer to explain the intentions behind his actions. The former Indian batsman also opined that social media trolls have a major role to play in dividing the country.

“It must have been very difficult for Jaffer to have to come out and explain his intentions. It tells a lot about the times we live in — where social media trolls do their worst to divide our country,” wrote Kaif.

Kaif also dwelled further on religion and wrote that religion has never come in the way of Indian cricket. He also added that irrespective of the place from where a person comes from, if he is talented, he could definitely wear the Indian jersey and represent the country. Kaif cited the example of Indian cricketing legend Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who scripted his path to the top in spite of hailing from Jharkhand. Kaif further gave examples of Zaheer Khan and Munaf Patel to drive home the point that religion and the place a certain person comes from have no role to play in selection.

“Religion is an individual issue and never comes between sportsmen. It has never come in the way of Indian cricket. Cricket has been one of the fields where a child born anywhere in India can genuinely dream about reaching the very top — playing for India. Else, an MS Dhoni wouldn’t have come out from Jharkhand’s cricket backwaters. A Zaheer Khan, not from the cricket-strong regions of Mumbai or Pune but from elsewhere in Maharashtra, wouldn’t have become the best modern-day Indian bowler. A Munaf Patel wouldn’t have come from a small village in Ikhar in Gujarat and played his part in India winning a world cup,” opined Kaif.