Mohammad Kaif Biography – Hailing from the cricketing backwaters of Uttar Pradesh, Mohammad Kaif established his prominence in Indian cricket from his youth days. Kaif’s assured stroke play and composure in his belied age. Even though his dynamic efforts were interspersed by a string of low scores, he continued to be a consistent part of the Indian limited-overs side.
Mohammad Kaif’s exquisite fielding performance at the covers overshadowed his failed batting effort. A brilliant Right-Handed batsman, Kaif often wore the gloves behind the stumps. Kaif made his international debut against South Africa in a test match on 2nd March 2000. He retired from all forms of cricket on 18th July 2018.
Mohammad Kaif Cricketing Career & Personal Life
Mohammad Kaif was born on 1st December 1980 at Prayagraj District in Uttar Pradesh. Kaif’s father Mohammad Tarif Ansari was also a professional cricketer who played for the Railways and Uttar Pradesh Cricket team at the Ranji Trophy. His brother Mohammad Saif also pursued professional cricket and played for Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh cricket teams.
Mohammad Kaif belonged to a middle-class household but received tremendous support from his family as he hailed from a cricketing background. Kaif was trained by his father in the initial phase of his career where he was nurtured with fine batting skills. He joined a cricket academy at the tender age of 10.
- Age: 40 Years
- Height: 5’9”
- Weight: 70 kg
Mohammad Kaif Domestic Career
Mohammad Kaif started to pursue professional cricket coaching at an academy in Prayagraj. Kaif represented his club in U-14, U-16, and U-19 level. Kaif’s brilliant performance for Uttar Pradesh at the Cooch Behar U-19 trophy led to his selection as the captain of the Indian U-19 team for the 2000 World Cup.
Kaif had a successful campaign at the U-19 World Cup which led to his international debut. He played for the Uttar Pradesh team in the domestic season and led the team at the Challengers Trophy in 2005. In a total of 129 first-class matches, Kaif has scored 7,581 runs with an average of 41.88. He has scored 45 half-centuries and 15 centuries claiming 20 wickets.
Mohammad Kaif IPL Career
Mohammad Kaif had a bitter IPL journey as he played for 3 franchises in four years and remained unsold thereafter. At the inaugural edition of IPL in 2008, Mohammad Kaif was picked by the Rajasthan Royals franchise that emerged victoriously. Kaif was Rajasthan’s iconic player and featured in all matches but had a poor run.
Mohammad Kaif was axed from the Rajasthan Royals squad at the early stage of the 2009 season due to his poor form. He was bought by the Kings XI Punjab franchise ahead of the 2010 IPL season. He failed to perform for the franchise and was picked by the Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise in 2011 and thereafter remained unsold as he failed to equip to the format.
Mohammad Kaif International Career
Mohammad Kaif is highly appraised for his magnificent fielding skills. Kaif’s highly impressive performance at the U-19 World Cup guaranteed his spot to mark his international debut against South Africa in late 2000. Kaif had a sloppy start to his international career but he retained his spot owing to his extraordinary fielding efforts.
Mohammad Kaif paved his way into the National Cricket Academy after its inauguration in 2000. His dominance in the nets had set his ODI debut against England in 2002. Kaif played an iconic knock of 87 runs of 75 balls at the final of Natwest series final in his debut series as India won the series and Kaif earned his maiden Player of the Match award for his brilliant knock.
Kaif continued to perform and was picked for the Bangladesh tour where he earned his first Man of the Series award for his consistent run in all three ODI’s of the series. Kaif had a poor run in the test format and was continuously dropped after returning with an impact against Australia with a couple of half-centuries in 2004.
The Middle Order Conspiracy
Mohammad Kaif has always been performing at the No. 3 spot. However, he always had to sacrifice the spot for top contenders including Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, and Rahul Dravid. Batting down the order, Kaif failed to gather runs and was continuously dropped from the team. He was recalled in the test team for the England test in 2006 to replace injured Yuvraj Singh.
Kaif startled the Indian innings and saved the test match by scoring 91 runs but was dropped following Yuvraj’s recovery. After Rahul Dravid got the captaincy and Greg Chappell was appointed as the coach, Irfan Pathan, and MS Dhoni were sent up to bat at 3 to pace up the scoring rate. This threatened his career as he failed to play any international fixture after 2006.
Mohammad Kaif Fielding
Mohammad Kaif is widely regarded as India’s best fielder in history. His normal fielding position was at the covers alongside Yuvraj Singh at the point. The duo was known to form the best offside field for India. Kaif lost his Indian team place to Yuvraj Singh who was prioritized being an all-rounder and a senior player.
Mohammad Kaif Wife
Mohammad Kaif married Pooja Yadav at a private ceremony in Uttar Pradesh in 2011. Pooja is a journalist based in Uttar Pradesh. The couple shares a mesmerizing bond and is often spotted out on dates. Pooja gave birth to Kaif’s first son in 2012 who is named Kabir and a daughter named Eva in April 2017.
Mohammad Kaif Net Worth
The estimated net worth of Mohammad Kaif is believed to be Rs. 47 Crore. Kaif has earned a stagnant amount of his net worth through his professional career for India and various franchises for IPL. Kaif was Rajasthan Royal’s iconic player who was bought for $625,000 and later bought by Kings XI Punjab for $250,000.
Mohammad Kaif owns a luxurious house in Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh. He is the owner of two houses worth Rs. 7.3 Crore and has movable assets of another Rs. 3.1 Crore. He is not so fond of cars but owns an Audi and a Mercedes.
Mohammad Kaif Controversies
- Mohammad Kaif had given controversial remarks about the Cricket Uttarakhand and Wasim Jaffer spat on the communal background. Kaif said that I had never faced biased discrimination in the Indian camp.
- Mohammad Kaif was mocked by social media after he posted pictures on Twitter wrongfully practicing Surya Namaskar.
Mohammad Kaif Political Inclination
Mohammad Kaif had a keen interest in politics and joined the Indian National Congress Party ahead of the General Elections in 2014. He contested against Keshav Prasad Maurya of BJP at the Phulpur Lok Sabha constituency but was clean bowled after a heavy defeat as he also lost his deposit. Maurya is the incumbent Deputy Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh.
Since his defeat, Mohammad Kaif has remained inactive in politics and hinted at no return.
Mohammad Kaif Coaching Career
Mohammad Kaif was named as an assistant coach for the Gujarat Lions franchise for the 2017 season. After Gujarat’s exit, Kaif has been named the Assistant coach of the Delhi Capitals franchise.
Mohammad Kaif Records
- First player from Uttar Pradesh to represent the Indian team.
- The highest number of catches in a single world cup match by a non-wicketkeeper (4).
- One of the youngest players to make Test debut for India (20).
Mohammad Kaif Awards & Achievements
- Five-time Man of the Match awards.
- The pall-bearer of India’s U-19 triumph in 2000.
Mohammad Kaif Facts
- Mohammad Kaif dated his wife four years before marriage.
- Mohammad Kaif applied for the post of Afghanistan’s coach but was disallowed from the contract on a technical basis.
- Sachin Tendulkar is Kaif’s favorite cricketer.