New Delhi, March 15 (IANS) Ranji Trophy great Wassim Jaffer feels that the modern day cricketer needs to be good at all formats of the game to truly earn respect of the cricketing community. Jaffer recently called time on his 24-year professional career in which he scored nearly 19,500 first class runs.
Jaffer's short-lived international career mostly constituted of Test cricket. He played only twice in ODIs for India but scored 1944 runs in 31 Tests for India and still holds the record for the second highest individual score by an Indian in the West Indies.
In the current Indian setup, Cheteshwar Pujara is the most well recognised Test match specialist batsman and Jaffer feels that players like him and the likes of Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman from his days with the Indian team are under appreciated.
"I think the time has changed. Even in my time I feel a lot of players like Rahul Dravid or VVS Laxman, I don't think they got their value," Jaffer told cricket.com.
"A player playing with them in a Test match knows how important those players are. But you know we have to go with the time. A lot of importance is given to T20 cricket.
"The people who are in marketing business or advertising business want somebody who is seen more on the TV, somebody who is glamorous or someone who plays the brand of cricket the crowd likes.
"But you can't devalue someone who plays T20 cricket because that's the demand of the game nowadays. What I feel is, in today's age and day, the cricketer needs to adapt himself to all three formats. You can't just play Test cricket or you can't just play T20 cricket.
"You will be recognised and respected only if you fit in all three formats. I am not saying Pujara is not respected, but then obviously he is going to play only Test cricket and no other format."
Jaffer has briefly played in the IPL for Royal Challengers Bangalore and will return to the competition this season as part of Anil Kumble's coaching staff at Kings XI Punjab.
"I think nowadays a lot of importance is given to the IPL, which I don't think is wrong. It gives a lot of youngsters a platform to perform against some top international players. So I don't think it is wrong but I think we don't need to devalue the performances in domestic cricket," he said.
However, he feels that performances in the domestic first class scene, particularly the Ranji Trophy, need to be rewarded.
"A lot of hard work goes into a guy getting 1000 runs or 40-50 wickets in a single season of the Ranji Trophy. A lot of effort and determination goes into this. We need to value those performances also. Someone who is doing such performances year in and year out needs to be given their due for performing so consistently," he said.