Saqlain lands with high expectationsStaff Correspondent
Bangladesh’s new spin bowling coach, Pakistani spin legend, Saqlain Mushtaq arrived on Tuesday morning and meant business right away as he without delay headed for Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium to join the national training camp.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board roped in Saqlain for a four-month period to assist the national spinners, regarded as the main strength of the Tigers, and he did not waste any time to get accustomed as he had a long discussion session with the coaching staff.
Saqlain, who mastered the art of ‘doosra’ and baffled most of the batsman during his playing days, said that he would like to pass all the experience to the players so that they can utilise it to the best of their ability.
‘I would love to pass all my experience to them,’ Saqlain told reporters after completing an hour long discussion with head coach Richard Pybus.
‘That is why I am here. I am here to help them and I will work hard and take the team to a different level,’ said the 35-year old Pakistani.
‘It is a very fit cricket team and the boys are very hard working. They want to go to the top-level and they are very passionate about cricket.
‘I have watched the BPL (Bangladesh Premier League) and there were a lot of Bangladeshi players. When I used to come here to play for Pakistan, I had seen kids practicing in the fields. You can say cricket is a religion here,’ added Saqlain.
The off-spinner added that being opposite to most of the Bangladeshi left-arm orthodox bowlers would hardly have an effect on his coaching method.
‘I don’t think that would be a problem as Mushy (Mustaq Ahmed- former Pakistani player) is a leg-spinner but there’s no leg-spinner in England team. The spinners have the same approach and that is how to bowl to a batsman.
‘Coaching is a different frame of mind and a different job. I have been coaching for last seven years. I was with the New Zealand team and went to Sri Lanka with them. I worked in the Australian academy, England Lions and different counties in England as well,’ said Saqlain.
‘When the boys do well, you get satisfaction, you get rewarded. I used to get satisfaction after taking wickets. As a coach it is a different role, but you still get the same satisfaction,’ said Saqlain who took 208 Test and 288 one-day international wickets in his career.
However, Saqlain did not agree to the fact that four months is enough for developing a cricketer.
‘Little is not little, enough is not enough. I have just arrived and I will plan with the coaches on what we can do so that the players get the full benefit of my presence,’ he said.
But he added that he would certainly think about it if BCB offers him a long-term contract.
‘We can’t predict the future; we’ll see what happens. If they (BCB) show the interest, I’d love to take the challenge. I’ve been watching Bangladesh players, they’re very keen to learn and I’m excited about that,’ said Saqlain.
While he talked about his work, Saqlain also recalled his old memory of playing his first game in Pakistan colours in Dhaka.
‘I played my first game at Dhaka Stadium (Bangabandhu National Stadium). After my first first-class season, I got picked for Pakistan ‘A’. It was my first international game and there were thousands of spectators. I can’t forget that feeling,’ said Saqlain.
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