"If you play well, that's all the money I need" - Ajay Jadeja’s endearing response while refusing payment for mentoring Afghanistan during 2023 WC

Ajay Jadeja, Afghanistan
Ajay Jadeja mentored Afghanistan in the 2023 ODI World Cup. (Image Credit: @ACBofficials/ X)

Former India cricketer Ajay Jadeja refused to take any payment for rendering his services as a mentor to the Afghanistan men's cricket team during the 2023 ODI World Cup. Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) CEO Naseeb Khan has revealed that the cricket board insisted on him taking payment, but Jadeja replied by stating that if the team plays well, that will be his reward.

Led by Hashmatullah Shahidi, Afghanistan put up a highly impressive showing in the 2023 ODI World Cup in India. They finished a credible sixth in the points table, winning four of their nine league matches. They stunned England, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka in the ICC event, apart from hammering the Netherlands by seven wickets.

The players apart, Jadeja, who was appointed as the team's mentor for the mega tournament, also won a lot of plaudits for his work behind the scenes. Now, the ACB CEO has stated that the former batter, who also captained India in a few games, did not take any money for providing his guidance to the team during the 2023 ODI World Cup.

"We insisted multiple times but Jadeja refused to take any money from the Afghanistan Cricket Board for his services during the 2023 ODI World Cup. His response was, 'If you play well, that's all the money and reward I need'," Khan was quoted as saying by Ariana News.

Afghanistan were in a strong position to beat Australia as well in the league match played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. However, Glenn Maxwell clobbered a sensational double hundred to lift the Aussies to a three-wicket win.


Ajay Jadeja takes cricketing route to redemption

One of the biggest stars in the Indian team in the 1990s, Jadeja’s cricket career came to an abrupt halt in 2000 when he was banned for five years over his alleged role in match-fixing. The Delhi court lifted the ban in January 2003, but his India days were long over by then.

During the international career, the 53-year-old played 196 ODIs and scored 5,359 runs at an average of 37.47, which included six hundreds and 30 fifties. He also represented India in 15 Tests, scoring 576 runs at an average of 26.18, with a best of 96.

Jadeja was appointed mentor of the Afghanistan cricket team just ahead of the 2023 ODI World Cup in India.

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Edited by Renin Wilben Albert
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