Former India skipper Anil Kumble offered his support to former India teammate Wasim Jaffer on Thursday after the Cricket Association of Uttarakhand (CAU) alleged that he had tried to force religion-based selections as the state team’s coach, reported PTI.

After quitting as Uttarakhand coach citing “interference and bias of selectors and the association’s secretary for non-deserving players”, Jaffer on Wednesday rejected allegations by the cricket association’s officials that he favoured Muslim players in the team.

Former Indian coach Kumble, who currently heads the ICC’s cricket committee, supported Jaffer. He said, “With you Wasim. Did the right thing. Unfortunately it’s the players who’ll miss your mentor ship.”

According to Jaffer, who played 31 Tests for India and is a celebrated name in domestic cricket, the charge levelled by CAU’s secretary Mahim Verma in a media report, had caused him immense pain.

He said, “Jo communal angle lagaya (the communal angle that has been brought up), that is very, very sad. They levelled an allegation that I am in favour of Iqbal Abdulla, I wanted to make Iqbal Abdulla as the captain, which is absolutely wrong.”

One of the highest run-getters in domestic cricket also dismissed allegations that he brought Maulvis (Muslim religious scholars) to the team’s training.

He said, “It was Iqbal Abdulla (Uttarakhand player) who sought mine and the manager’s permission only for the Friday prayer.”

According to Jaffer,  he “recommended Jay Bista for captaincy not Iqbal but CAU officials favoured Iqbal.”

Jaffer was appointed as the head coach of the state team in June 2020. He had signed a one-year contract with CAU. Uttarakhand won only one out of their five matches in the recent Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.