Wasim Jaffer, who had retired from domestic cricket earlier this year, has now taken up a new role as the head coach of Uttarakhand for the 2020-21 domestic season. Jaffer brings a wealth of experience, having won the Ranji Trophy multiples times with Mumbai and more recently with Vidarbha in a playing career that lasted more than 20 years. In all, Jaffer is the highest run-getter in the Ranji Trophy, with 12038 runs, including 40 centuries, which is also the most by any batsman in the tournament. Jaffer also played 31 Tests and two ODIs for India.
The Uttarakhand gig, however, isn’t Jaffer first foray into coaching. Even when he was an active player, in 2019, he had worked as a batting coach at Bangladesh’s high-performance academy in Dhaka. More recently, Jaffer was named Kings XI Punjab’s batting coach for IPL 2020, which has been postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Uttarakhand had finished last in Group C last season, with no wins and seven losses from nine Ranji games.
‘My Bengal career is finished’ – Dinda
Ashok Dinda‘s playing days for Bengal appear to be over, with the veteran paceman being linked with Puducherry, Chhattisgarh and Goa for the 2020-21 domestic season. The 36-year old was dropped from the Bengal side after playing just one game in the 2019-20 Ranji Trophy after a spat with Ranadeb Bose, the bowling coach.
Dinda has been one of Bengal’s most successful bowlers, with 420 wickets in first-class cricket and 151 and 146 in List A and T20s respectively.
“I have been associated with Bengal cricket for many years, and it has been my life, I have the best memories of my time with the team,” he said. “I will not stop loving Bengal, but I can’t play for them again. It’s finished. I wanted to end my career with Bengal, but I don’t have a choice now.”
ESPNcricinfo understands that Dinda has been in talks with all three associations, and at this stage, Chhattisgarh could be his likeliest destination. He hasn’t yet applied to the Cricket Association of Bengal for an NOC; if and when he does, the association will let him go.
Dinda, who played 13 ODIs and nine T20Is between 2009 and 2013, played Bengal’s first game of the last Ranji season, in Thumba against Kerala, and picked up three wickets. Soon after that, he got into a scrap with Bose on the sidelines of a training session at home in Kolkata, following which he was left out. He was given a chance to apologise to Bose, but refused.
The pace spearhead’s absence didn’t seem to have hurt Bengal, who reached the Ranji Trophy final for the first time since 2006-07 – where they lost to Saurashtra – with the young pace trio of Akash Deep (35 wickets), Mukesh Kumar (32) and Ishan Porel (23) doing the job alongside spin frontman Shahbaz Ahmed, who picked up 35 wickets.
Sandeep Warrier moves from Kerala to Tamil Nadu
In another significant move, Kerala fast bowler Sandeep Warrier will shift to Tamil Nadu for the next season.
ESPNcricinfo understands that Warrier’s move is mainly due to his present life circumstances. He has been living in Chennai for the past two years, trains at the MRF Pace Academy in the city, and is employed by India Cements. His wife, a doctor, is pursuing a master’s degree in Chennai too, and the city has been home for Warrier.
He has applied to the Kerala Cricket Association for an NOC and is confident of receiving it. Warrier could play as a local player instead of a professional for Tamil Nadu – the TNCA have already indicated they will be happy to have him in the side – since he has been employed in the state for more than a year.
Warrier, 29, has been Kerala’s leading pacer in the past couple of seasons. During their semi-final run in 2018-19, he picked up 44 wickets at an average of 17.54 in ten matches. Last season, his appearances were limited since he was picked for India A, and he took 13 wickets in four matches at 22.84.