Saqlain to join Bangladesh for NZ series
Saqlain Mushtaq has confirmed his return to Bangladesh as the team's spin bowling consultant later this month. The former Pakistan offspinner will continue the 100-day contract with the Bangladesh Cricket Board for 2013, which saw him accompany the side to Zimbabwe earlier this year.
"I look forward to joining the Bangladesh camp by the end of September. If not, (by) October 1 is a must," Saqlain told Dhaka Tribune.
It is a busy time for Saqlain. He will conduct a three-week spin-bowling clinic for a group of current and emerging West Indies spinners from September 3. After that, he will be in Bangladesh for the series against New Zealand, which starts in early October with two Tests followed by three ODIs and a Twenty20 international.
Saqlain first joined Bangladesh in 2012 when Richard Pybus was the head coach, and was part of the coaching staff in Sri Lanka for the World Twenty20 and the West Indies home series later in the year.
During his time with the side, Saqlain has worked extensively with Sohag Gazi, and played a significant role in the young offspinner's success against West Indies in his maiden series. Gazi bounced back from an early assault from Chris Gayle to dismiss the batsman on his way to 4 for 29 in his debut ODI. Saqlain has also worked with the senior spinners in the side such as Abdur Razzak and Shakib Al Hasan.
According to these players, Saqlain has added more than just the odd word of advice. In the case of Gazi, he set specific fields for the newcomer, down to each batsman. Gazi, however, missed Saqlain's input when he struggled in Sri Lanka in March this year, but as soon as the consultant returned to the Bangladesh dressing room, for the Zimbabwe tour, Gazi found a way to strike. He has since credited Saqlain for much of his success.
It is unlikely that Saqlain will be working with emerging spinners in the country. However, Bangladesh's next international series after New Zealand is only in January, so there is an opportunity for the BCB to utilize his knowledge to find the next crop of slow bowlers in domestic cricket after the New Zealand series is over in early November.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here