BCB may extend Saqlain's ambit to second-string teams
The Bangladesh Cricket Board could ask it's part-time spin-bowling consultant, Saqlain Mushtaq, to work spinners from across the country, instead of just the national team, this year. With 65 days left on his 100-day contract as Bangladesh's consultant, the board is hoping to get more out of the former Pakistan offspinner.
There is a feeling among many in the BCB that since he is usually asked to join the national team a just few days before a series, he cannot spend enough time with the players. Akram Khan, BCB's new cricket operations committee chairman, said that he would get in touch with Saqlain over the next few days to discuss details of his next visit.
"A player of Saqlain Mushtaq's calibre should be fully utilised," Akram "said. "We have a lot of cricket coming up in the next three months, and I will discuss with him how best to work out the rest of his time with us. He might join us ahead of the Asia Cup."
"We will certainly look to have him with the senior side but at the same time, spread out his knowledge a bit."
Saqlain could be asked to work with the second-string teams like the Bangladesh A team, National Cricket Academy and the age-group sides. At the same time, he could be also be asked to visit different parts of the country to identify more offspinners and legspinners as there is a massive dearth of these two skills in Bangladesh - here, left-arm spinners are rife.
"Usually my agent is in contact with the BCB, so I am waiting to find out the details," Saqlain told ESPNcricinfo. "We can discuss whether I will work with the national team or others. It is not yet clear what I will be doing next with the BCB."
Till now, Saqlain was primarily assigned with the senior team, and worked with the side both at home and away in the 2012-13 season. His last assignment with the team was during the Zimbabwe series in April and May last year. Before that, he was with the team ahead of and during the 2012 World Twenty20s in Sri Lanka and the home series against West Indies.
He didn't join the Bangladesh side for the series against New Zealand last October. The BCB had reportedly said afterwards that Saqlain would join the squad ahead of the home series against Sri Lanka this month.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here