Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Saqulain: Heart with the West Indies



Mark Fraser


Saqlain Mushtaq, the legendary Pakistani off-spinner, will face his own country when West Indies take on Pakistan in the ICC World T20 2014 today. Saqlain is West Indies’ spin bowling coach and said that he wears the West Indies logo on his heart and hopes his team crosses the line tomorrow. The winners of Tuesday night’s game will then take the second spot in the Group Two of the Super 10s, making their way into the semi-final.

Speaking to the media ahead of the crucial clash Saqlain said: “From a religious point of view, I can’t predict anything: Who will win tomorrow or what will happen tomorrow? But, we can say that the team that will play well, that will win. You can’t predict anything. Obviously, my wishes are with my team and my team is West Indies. This is a part of my faith and belief: I have to be honest and I will be honest.”

Saqlain then went on to point to the West Indies logo on his jersey and said that this should not only be worn on the body, but on the heart. He has found a space in the West Indies dressing room. “It is a great opportunity for me and it is an honour for me that I am working for a great team. When I was little, I admired them (West Indies) because of the great players like Sir Vivian Richards and Sir Garfield Sobers.

“When I had a call from the head coach and director of cricket of the West Indies, I thought it is a great opportunity for me. The shirt is not on my body, the logo is not on my body, it should be on the heart,” Saqlain said.

Saqlain is a leading proponent of the art of doosra, as he introduced the innovation to cricket. When asked about Saeed Ajmal and whether the West Indies batsmen consult him, Saqlain said, “As you know, Saeed Ajmal has been playing for Pakistan for quite a few years. So, technology is already evolving. Obviously, when the batsmen come to me, and they want to ask anything about Saeed Ajmal, obviously I have to speak about him, what he does, how he bowls the off-spin or whatever.

“That is the part of the job. But the thing is, if you see the technology, that tells you everything. So, there is nothing hidden,” Saqlain said.