Spinners July 14, 2007

Saqlain's conversion of convenience

For Saqlain was once a spinner who held the world in his mesmeric grip
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More and more of us enjoy an existence of divided loyalties. You might live in England or Australia but support India or Pakistan for reasons of birth or ancestry. With the same birth or ancestry you might support England or Australia. These are differences and preferences of the heart we should celebrate. It is possible to be a fully committed British citizen and support Pakistan at cricket.

When it comes to who you would play for the calculation becomes more pragmatic. Those same India and Pakistan supporters living in England, for example, would mostly jump at the chance of playing for England. It is already happening--and rightly their loyalties switch quickly and emphatically to their country of residence.

Some talented cricketers are groomed in one country and then switch loyalties to another, taking up their qualification rights at the start of their international careers. Kevin Pietersen and Andrew Symonds are two recent examples. If you have a choice at the start of your international career, then lucky you.

Other cricketers with insubstantial international careers have switched countries to improve their chances of playing regular international cricketer. Graeme Hick and Dipak Patel made moves for different reasons. This is where players' behaviour begins to verge on the mercenary.

Which leads us to the case of Saqlain Mushtaq. He is still young for a spinner with potentially many years of international cricket before him. For much of his career, he was an indispensable part of the Pakistan cricket team. He almost helped Pakistan win a World Cup. He played a hand in some memorable triumphs. He also took his share of criticism for Pakistan's unpredictable performances and was touched by the finger of accusation for some of the scandals.

Saqlain lost his place in the Pakistan team through a mixture of injury, declining form, and political machinations. He was a spinner who had it all--perhaps even a teesra--and then had nothing. I feel for his plight as an international sportsman cast into the wilderness. But I don't support his willingness to consider playing for England. It seems wrong to me that a player fails to be selected for a country and then fancies his chances with another instead of fighting for his career. It is also unfair on English spinners.

Saqlain has played hundreds of matches for Pakistan. He could play many more. The words he should be uttering are ones of determination to regain his place as Pakistan's premier spinner. These thoughts of England aren't those of a winner, which might mean that he doesn't have the right attitude to compete again at the highest level. I hope not. For Saqlain was once a spinner who held the world in his mesmeric grip. His conversion to England would be an admission of failure and an act of convenience, unworthy of the spirit of cricket.

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • kiramatalishah on January 12, 2010, 12:23 GMT

    3. Everyone has their favorite way of using the internet. Many of us search to find what we want, click in to a specific website, read what’s available and click out. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because it’s efficient. We learn to tune out things we don’t need and go straight for what’s essential. www.onlineuniversalwork.com

  • Usman Masood on August 24, 2007, 7:51 GMT

    it seems a bit unfair when consider saqlain an era of spin playing for other country but after reading reviews of "khansahab", honestly i am agreed with him. In Pakistan he won't stand a chance as PCB has worst record of dealing with senior players espically when they have 3 to 4 years cricket left in them, we have lots of such examples. it hurts but if considering from saqlain's point of view i think its right no problem in that... But in my opnion he won't be selected in England team too, but if does he won't stay there long. he has spend alot of time out of Internation Cricket and for that reason. Era is over.

  • Usman Masood on August 24, 2007, 7:50 GMT

    it seems a bit unfair when consider saqlain an era of spin playing for other country but after reading reviews of "khansahab", honestly i am agreed with him. In Pakistan he won't stand a chance as PCB has worst record of dealing with senior players espically when they have 3 to 4 years cricket left in them, we have lots of such examples. it hurts but if considering from saqlain's point of view i think its right no problem in that... But in my opnion he won't be selected in England team too, but if does he won't stay there long. he has spend alot of time out of Internation Cricket and for that reason. Era is over.

  • saif ahmed on August 14, 2007, 18:20 GMT

    It hurts! Hurts real bad just to think that this great bowler may be playing for another nation. Saqlain is the greatest Pakistani spinner and he will remain a Pakistani. I think we didn't do justice to him, we left him in the wilderness for far too long and never ever bothered to look back. He has won us too many matches, an off spinner, a match winner is a rare commodity. He is big at heart, never afraid of going after the greatest of the batsmen. Instead of blaming him for his recent comments about switching his loyalties we should ask PCB some hard questions. "Aur kitno ko khaogay?" The bunch of ignorants have done nothing but hurting Pakistan's cause.

  • Ravi on August 3, 2007, 2:26 GMT

    Quite conservative, aren't you? PCB dropped this very good spinner for reasons best known to them. A bad patch couldn't have been the only reason because everyone has those. Having become a British citizen, I'd be happy for Saqlain if he deservedly manages to extend his international career by getting picked for England.

  • b.jani on August 2, 2007, 10:17 GMT

    i think mr.abbasi evoke some old skeltone by putting this article.as per my knwledge,saqi is a fine bowler.there is no second opinion about that.but one thing i remember when match fix scandle broke out,salim malik,wasim akram,ataa ur raheman,afridi,and many other paki and indian players were involved,i read about saqi's statement that on oth of quaran he denies the involvement in that regard.but truth lies there!!many,his colligue belive that he was also involved with them!!and there after nobody trust him!!and slowly-slowly entire PCB member took their hand like a grabbed hot potato!!this is truth!!!

  • Simon Davis W on August 1, 2007, 15:32 GMT

    I See nothing wrong in Saqi playing for England its bad to critize him when most of them forgot him when he was dropped for Pakistan National team.Now when he is about to pursue his international career for England people remember there is player named Saqlain and he played for Pakistan National team.

  • Mujtaba Tariq on July 30, 2007, 6:46 GMT

    Three Cheers for Saqlain. He should play for England.Why should he suffer the wrath of PCB.He used to be one of the match winners for Pakistan and still remains to be. Why should he not play cricket at the highest level if he is willing and also if the ECB is willing to conisder him. I don't think that he would be recalled to play for pakistan.Only if a miracle happens.Why should a pioneer of the "DUSRA" suffer.I would like to say "Cumon Saqi Bhai" as another great Moin Khan used to call him from behind the stumps.

  • Mohsin on July 27, 2007, 10:09 GMT

    It is entirely unfair to criticise Saqi because i think the credit of this entire fiasco goes to PCB because he was never given a proper chance for a comeback i.e playing him on a dead,barren pitch on which Sehwag had a field day and all of the Pakistan bowlers had figures which were not worth mentioning.He was left in the doldrums after that due to politics in the team and the PCB, not because of his lack in form.As for the dual nationality talk we must noy forget that the man who calls all the shots in the PCB Spent the major part of his professional life in the States.So i have the opinion that Saqlain atleast in ODis is a better Bowler,fieder,and Batsmen then Danish Kaneria and as our ODi team is playing without A SPECIALIST spinner for the last three years i think Sallu Bhai should look no where else and recall Saqlain as soon as possible for ODis as soon as possible or else we know exactly what mau be brewing.

  • Faraz on July 27, 2007, 7:55 GMT

    I do understand that being a pakistani Saqi shouldnt play for England. But then the question arises why do these cricketers put all their efforts and time and to be honest all what they have for cricket is so that they can play Cricket at international level for their country. Well Saqi followed the same lines he had to contest hard to get his place in the National team. He played tremendous cricket. He stole many victories from the other sides. He was the MAN. But then as it happens to all not one or two but to all that once they reach their peak then there is always a glitch a bad patch where you are told to do the basics and once you get back in your grove you can rejoin. Same happened to Saqi. But how did we treated him. Threw him out of the side put a knee injury label onto him and case closed. The player kept saying he was fit and fine and wants to play for his country but at that time we had put fingers in our and others ears as well. He went to england did wonders in the county cricket. But we all went blind. Every thought what was going through his mind? He put every penny on stake to get back into side, but we never listened. Look at this county records and we will be ashamed of ourselves what a great cricketer he is and we have wasted him. Just try to feel what he might have been going through. And now after being a true muslim, i bet he must have shed tears before making this decission. But all we have to say that he must be patriotic? DUH am i the only one who is dumb here.

    You dont give him any chance, look at other countries Kumble still kicking butts, We played Miandad unnecessarily in his last world cup. Shoaib Akhter having failed his doping test still is playing. Now look at other sides, De Silva played for so many years even everybody knew he had nothing in him. Mark Waugh, Wesseles, you give me sapce and i will give you names. Imran our political sportso played while injecting pain killers. And here we have a young prolific bowler who goes through a bad patch and he is history.

    He is the best off spinner pakistan can produce, but due to pathetic PCB officials we are going to loose him. I wish we come to a point where we are in a world cup final with england and saqi is to take the victory away from Pakistan. I guess thats when he will be avenged. Although we will send him death threats and call him a traitor.

    But for a second Kamran sahab...dont hide the complete picture. Dont be like a PCB official. He has all the rights and to be honest he has been pushed to the limit where a person starts thinking of blowing himself up. Atleast he didnt took that path but a much peaceful one.

    Cheers

  • kiramatalishah on January 12, 2010, 12:23 GMT

    3. Everyone has their favorite way of using the internet. Many of us search to find what we want, click in to a specific website, read what’s available and click out. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because it’s efficient. We learn to tune out things we don’t need and go straight for what’s essential. www.onlineuniversalwork.com

  • Usman Masood on August 24, 2007, 7:51 GMT

    it seems a bit unfair when consider saqlain an era of spin playing for other country but after reading reviews of "khansahab", honestly i am agreed with him. In Pakistan he won't stand a chance as PCB has worst record of dealing with senior players espically when they have 3 to 4 years cricket left in them, we have lots of such examples. it hurts but if considering from saqlain's point of view i think its right no problem in that... But in my opnion he won't be selected in England team too, but if does he won't stay there long. he has spend alot of time out of Internation Cricket and for that reason. Era is over.

  • Usman Masood on August 24, 2007, 7:50 GMT

    it seems a bit unfair when consider saqlain an era of spin playing for other country but after reading reviews of "khansahab", honestly i am agreed with him. In Pakistan he won't stand a chance as PCB has worst record of dealing with senior players espically when they have 3 to 4 years cricket left in them, we have lots of such examples. it hurts but if considering from saqlain's point of view i think its right no problem in that... But in my opnion he won't be selected in England team too, but if does he won't stay there long. he has spend alot of time out of Internation Cricket and for that reason. Era is over.

  • saif ahmed on August 14, 2007, 18:20 GMT

    It hurts! Hurts real bad just to think that this great bowler may be playing for another nation. Saqlain is the greatest Pakistani spinner and he will remain a Pakistani. I think we didn't do justice to him, we left him in the wilderness for far too long and never ever bothered to look back. He has won us too many matches, an off spinner, a match winner is a rare commodity. He is big at heart, never afraid of going after the greatest of the batsmen. Instead of blaming him for his recent comments about switching his loyalties we should ask PCB some hard questions. "Aur kitno ko khaogay?" The bunch of ignorants have done nothing but hurting Pakistan's cause.

  • Ravi on August 3, 2007, 2:26 GMT

    Quite conservative, aren't you? PCB dropped this very good spinner for reasons best known to them. A bad patch couldn't have been the only reason because everyone has those. Having become a British citizen, I'd be happy for Saqlain if he deservedly manages to extend his international career by getting picked for England.

  • b.jani on August 2, 2007, 10:17 GMT

    i think mr.abbasi evoke some old skeltone by putting this article.as per my knwledge,saqi is a fine bowler.there is no second opinion about that.but one thing i remember when match fix scandle broke out,salim malik,wasim akram,ataa ur raheman,afridi,and many other paki and indian players were involved,i read about saqi's statement that on oth of quaran he denies the involvement in that regard.but truth lies there!!many,his colligue belive that he was also involved with them!!and there after nobody trust him!!and slowly-slowly entire PCB member took their hand like a grabbed hot potato!!this is truth!!!

  • Simon Davis W on August 1, 2007, 15:32 GMT

    I See nothing wrong in Saqi playing for England its bad to critize him when most of them forgot him when he was dropped for Pakistan National team.Now when he is about to pursue his international career for England people remember there is player named Saqlain and he played for Pakistan National team.

  • Mujtaba Tariq on July 30, 2007, 6:46 GMT

    Three Cheers for Saqlain. He should play for England.Why should he suffer the wrath of PCB.He used to be one of the match winners for Pakistan and still remains to be. Why should he not play cricket at the highest level if he is willing and also if the ECB is willing to conisder him. I don't think that he would be recalled to play for pakistan.Only if a miracle happens.Why should a pioneer of the "DUSRA" suffer.I would like to say "Cumon Saqi Bhai" as another great Moin Khan used to call him from behind the stumps.

  • Mohsin on July 27, 2007, 10:09 GMT

    It is entirely unfair to criticise Saqi because i think the credit of this entire fiasco goes to PCB because he was never given a proper chance for a comeback i.e playing him on a dead,barren pitch on which Sehwag had a field day and all of the Pakistan bowlers had figures which were not worth mentioning.He was left in the doldrums after that due to politics in the team and the PCB, not because of his lack in form.As for the dual nationality talk we must noy forget that the man who calls all the shots in the PCB Spent the major part of his professional life in the States.So i have the opinion that Saqlain atleast in ODis is a better Bowler,fieder,and Batsmen then Danish Kaneria and as our ODi team is playing without A SPECIALIST spinner for the last three years i think Sallu Bhai should look no where else and recall Saqlain as soon as possible for ODis as soon as possible or else we know exactly what mau be brewing.

  • Faraz on July 27, 2007, 7:55 GMT

    I do understand that being a pakistani Saqi shouldnt play for England. But then the question arises why do these cricketers put all their efforts and time and to be honest all what they have for cricket is so that they can play Cricket at international level for their country. Well Saqi followed the same lines he had to contest hard to get his place in the National team. He played tremendous cricket. He stole many victories from the other sides. He was the MAN. But then as it happens to all not one or two but to all that once they reach their peak then there is always a glitch a bad patch where you are told to do the basics and once you get back in your grove you can rejoin. Same happened to Saqi. But how did we treated him. Threw him out of the side put a knee injury label onto him and case closed. The player kept saying he was fit and fine and wants to play for his country but at that time we had put fingers in our and others ears as well. He went to england did wonders in the county cricket. But we all went blind. Every thought what was going through his mind? He put every penny on stake to get back into side, but we never listened. Look at this county records and we will be ashamed of ourselves what a great cricketer he is and we have wasted him. Just try to feel what he might have been going through. And now after being a true muslim, i bet he must have shed tears before making this decission. But all we have to say that he must be patriotic? DUH am i the only one who is dumb here.

    You dont give him any chance, look at other countries Kumble still kicking butts, We played Miandad unnecessarily in his last world cup. Shoaib Akhter having failed his doping test still is playing. Now look at other sides, De Silva played for so many years even everybody knew he had nothing in him. Mark Waugh, Wesseles, you give me sapce and i will give you names. Imran our political sportso played while injecting pain killers. And here we have a young prolific bowler who goes through a bad patch and he is history.

    He is the best off spinner pakistan can produce, but due to pathetic PCB officials we are going to loose him. I wish we come to a point where we are in a world cup final with england and saqi is to take the victory away from Pakistan. I guess thats when he will be avenged. Although we will send him death threats and call him a traitor.

    But for a second Kamran sahab...dont hide the complete picture. Dont be like a PCB official. He has all the rights and to be honest he has been pushed to the limit where a person starts thinking of blowing himself up. Atleast he didnt took that path but a much peaceful one.

    Cheers

  • Sam on July 27, 2007, 6:06 GMT

    I am currently an Englishman working and living in Melbourne Australia, I would never dream of playing for Australia! I would rather never play than play for them over my Country of birth, its not right!

  • rai on July 27, 2007, 1:45 GMT

    those of you who are comparing pakistani doctors and engineers working in england to a pakistani cricketer playing for england must have the IQ of a cow.cricket is a competitive sport unlike medicine and engineering.would you like seeing saqlain taking wickets of pakistani batsmen in a pak vs. england match ? or if this becomes a trend and in the future pakistani players who are not selected opt for the indian team how would you feel about that.

  • kaushik on July 25, 2007, 16:38 GMT

    its very easy to sit and comment on any topic specially if it is a hot one . but let me remind you mr kamran that if you are speaking of patriotism and all you must not mix that with professionalism.here we are concerned about a person who is a proffesional player . one can work in any place and for any employee. i dont quiet understand why one cant one migrate when there is a better opportunity and a better wrking environment . cricket lovers will know what i am talking about . and talking about saqlain's future in pakistan ask about it from waqar younis, rashid latif and moin khan and others , their careers ended no where while they they can easily walk into any team.i really support saqlain's thought if he is thinking about palying for england ever.

  • Mahad on July 23, 2007, 21:10 GMT

    I understand this is a great opportunity for Saqlain to play for another international team. But I find it a bit wrong since he has been a great player for Pakistan. He has taken around 290 ODI wickets for Pakistan. He has been a match winner and a great member of the Pakistan team. I'd feel very bad if one of Pakistan's great off spinners, played for England. If he can, he should play domestically in Pakistan and try regain some form. It would be brilliant if he came back for Pakistan. Either that or just play county cricket and some how, avoid being selected. Just don't play for England, Saqlain! Please don't!

  • Hashim on July 23, 2007, 17:41 GMT

    Left in wilderness by your native country....the country u served for years....friends are those who come to your aid when u r down.....dont tell me this is the first time PCB has sidelined great talent.....wasim waqar had to retire in disgracefully.......the stars of their calibre and service shud have been given a farewell no less thn ny other cricket great....but wasim had to leave after being dropped.......after 3 yrs of exile when he was injured u want saqlain to forget everything and come to pakistan.....u must be kidding....

  • Mutz on July 22, 2007, 21:21 GMT

    I dont agree with Kamran either people. Saqlain has been treated bad by not only the PCB but also us fans. Nobody has ever lobbied to get him back into the national team. You only realise what you had when you lost it. Now just at the prospect of Saqlain going to play for England is making everyone realise how good he is and how much more he has to give to Pakistan. Good luck to Saqlain, whoever he plays for and congrats on his marriage and permanant stay in england.

    Zahid he may have played badly but he needs to be consistently in the team to be consistent, obviously if hes selected 1 match then not the next morale goes low and puts doubts in his head so a player cant concentrate properly. he may have played badly once or twice but how much times he played really well for pakistan? plus tel me which playin hasnt gone thru a rough patch!

    Shaka i doubt that will ever happen in cricket! players cant just go into any county and become a national citizen in that country. look how long mushy been in england yet he stil has not received a british nationality(but its not to far)

    Kamran u mite be writing on a pakistani team page but thats also in english, yet u cud b writing in urdu on 1 of the pakistani websites, do does that make u any less or more pakistani than Saqi?

  • waseem malik on July 22, 2007, 17:01 GMT

    Saqlain should play from england there is no second opinion ,I think PCB would never recall him there is lot of politics going on + what PCB has done with other heroes like Majid ,Mushtaq,Javed,zaheer,Sarfraz,even Wasim ,Waqar,Saeed,Qadir etc.

    Saqlain, go for your career. If not Pakistan why not England. Love to see you in action again. good luck

  • Shaka on July 20, 2007, 16:45 GMT

    My point isn't connected to Saqi specifically but just players who play for more than one country. It seems a bit of a farce to me! In football when you set your allegiance to a country you stick with that, yet in cricket you can play games for more than one country. What's to stop a country like the U.A.E. going out and paying a whole bunch of English, South African, Australian, Indian... players from changing their nationality and playing for them instead. Imagine having International teams trading in players by paying them extortionate amounts to change nationality! Players should stick to one country and try to get a game for them rather than go for whoever is willing to try them out!

  • Junaid on July 20, 2007, 5:12 GMT

    I don't agree with Karman. If all other Pakistanis have the right to go overseas to work as doctors and engineers than why not Saqlain. I would love to see him playing for Pakistan but if Pakistan board is not even contacting him about his health than he has the right to think about his future. Afterall he is a cricketer and he has to feed his family by playing some sort of top level cricket.

  • Jibran Baig on July 19, 2007, 3:31 GMT

    It would be sad to see Saqlain play for England as he is still a great spinner and still has the best doosra than any other offspinner (yes even better than Murli; as Saqi delivers both offspiner and doosra from exactly the same action, no bents in arms). Playing for Pakistan is a thankless job, one never really gets his proper due, the politics in our board and selection process has killed many careers and if Saqlain has a chance to revive international career in England than be it; at least, he'll get the respect he deserves.

  • Comeon Saqi on July 18, 2007, 15:22 GMT

    Khansahab (A.A.Khan), i think its a frank column for us to interact freely. I think even Kamran bhai can supplement the fact that Kaneria was thrown in limelight too soon and failed to impress against competitive opposition, such as his dismal performance in the Khi test vs England. His early performances against Bangladesh were indeed impressive. I remember a test match in Dhaka, where Mr. Waqar Younis introduced Saqi when the opposition had scored 120/8 and that too when he got tired and the opponents couldnt be dislodged easily.

    As for the allegations regarding Saqi, it was a news to me. I only remember some premature allegations based on a couple of last overs he bowled at Dhaka and Karachi. I just want to know more in this regard, if any,

    And one request to Kamran bhai, please give a final preview to the comments in your blog so that we arrive at some sort of conclusion or a mjority opinion

  • Comeon Saqi on July 18, 2007, 14:57 GMT

    As for some Wasim Saqib, commenting abt where was Saqi since 2004, just for his knowledge he had a double knee operation. And as for his claims before the Indo-Pak series in 2004, i think people have said enough and can he justify his exclusion from all 5 ODIs ebfore the test series even though eh was in the squad!!

  • Fardan Khalid on July 18, 2007, 14:42 GMT

    Sorry Mr Abbasi, I don't agree. Our board has had an appetite of wasting talent. Nasim Ashraf & Co like the previous PCB management do not have the understanding of cricket and are focused more towards corporate governance than enhancing & retaining talent. If England can understand that a player like Saqi deserves and can be an asset to play on at the international arena for them, then it's a slap on PCB.

  • Noor on July 18, 2007, 14:24 GMT

    I think Saqlain's best chances of playing international cricket lies with Pakistan. It is going to be very hard for a ex-Pakistani test player to get into an England side, England have got an excellent spinner in Monty.

    Saqlain is past his best and at his age the prospect of changing allegiance may not be his best option.

    Saqlain should not make the same mistake as Younis Ahmed did once. Younis Ahmed was fine player but had the notion he will be accepted by the English but alas he wasted his finest years waiting for a call from the England selected but in the end realised that England were never gonna pick him and then decided he wanted to play for Pakistan, by then he was past his best. Alas Pakistan could have used him in a close faught series in 1971.

    I know times have changed but I feel best hope of international cricket lies with Pakistan, Kaniera had dissapointing year with Pakistan and I dont think there are many top spinners in Pakistan in the same class of two Mushtaqs the other being Mushtaq Ahmed. Saqlain should work hard and if he has a good season with Sussex, he should make it known that he is available to play for Pakistan.

  • Phil on July 18, 2007, 14:11 GMT

    I agree with Kamran, Saqy is just kopping out of working hard to regain his spot with Pak. We have some good spinners in England coming thru - so don't want a cast off!!

    He really should be fighting for his place back home and then look at his options....sure Lawson will take note if he bowls well this season.

  • Usman Gul on July 18, 2007, 8:55 GMT

    He is a professional cricketer and if he feels that he can restart his international career playing for England then i dont see any wrongdoing from his part,since he has been sidelined from international cricket for some years now and it seems that he is no longer in the good books of PCB. There have been numerous examples in the past where cricketers have played for more than one country. So i think he is mature enough to decide for himself and he should be allowed to do what he thinks is best for him....

    Cheers!

  • adeel on July 18, 2007, 6:18 GMT

    saqi , once truly had everything, but since he got into county cricket, his career is at decline, and as said before, i don't his chance in pakistan cricket anymore. He should if offered join England and present Pakistan there as well. The world is a global village now, and I think we should support him, Sajid and Ovais to represent Pakistan in english cricket.

  • Faisal Laljee on July 17, 2007, 23:30 GMT

    Every international sports figure has a few good years during which they can make money. That is why they make the big bucks. With Saqlain, Pakistan (PCB and those that influence it) have never really wanted him in the side after the controversy and the poor form. He deserves better as did some of our other past players. If he gets to play for England, more power to him. This is not dissimilar to Adnan Sami Khan's move to India after the people of Pakistan and the powers that be failed to recognize his potential and his contributions to Pakistani pop culture.

  • Aqif on July 17, 2007, 15:18 GMT

    I can understand that saqlains recent comments must have burnt the patriotic hearts of many pakistani cricket supporters but kamran sb you are wrong to put the blame on Saqlain. A cricketer plays cricket just as a doctor practices medicine. Its not a side hobby that saqlain does in addition to his e.g. banking job! PCB, supporters of PCB and all those with the power to influence in pakistan are to blame. How can you let go of someone so valuable? It is extremely unfortunate but thats how illogical we people are. Its time others relish the tasty cuisine they've imported from Pakistan and we suffer for our stupidity. I cant stop thinking of suddenly how more "pakistani" dr. abdusalam got after receiving his nobel prize. Too bad, the italians saw deeper into him than we could. this is just a repeat telecast with a time lag.

  • Faraz on July 17, 2007, 14:57 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi i totally disagree with you. above article is so unlike you, Saqlain deserves a place at the highest level ( england pakistan or South Africe for that matter, its his call to make !) , enough said !

  • Zahid M Malik on July 17, 2007, 13:18 GMT

    It is was unfortunate to see sqi fancy his chances for England team. I remmeber him playing last time for Pakistan. He showed very unprofessional manners , and was not looking interested playing for Pakistan. I belive Pakistan did his best not to lose him, but the way he played for pakistan in his last apperance, make me think that he already planned this long time ago. People tends to forget things very quickly, I suggest my friends to check his performance when he played for pakistan last time and do check the vedio when he was playing for pakistan against India. If Saqi dont play for Pakistan, It is ok. Our Pakistan can produce better Saqi,Wasim,Imran etc. In the end I will say it is not the issue of playing for England, it tells you the inside of a person. Keep long bear or talking nice is just a make up. A person who is morally strong in his values never fell cheap.

  • Chris on July 17, 2007, 12:57 GMT

    I know it's a side-issue, but it's worth pointing out that Symonds immigrated to Australia as a child. England didn't "groom" him. England had nothing to do with his cricketing development and all.

    He's Aussie through and through.

  • Dharmendra Mohan on July 17, 2007, 12:52 GMT

    Everyone knows it is Pakistan's loss, but Pakistan cricket board and its selectors. Saqlain is a class spinner and he deserve a place in pak team. After Saqlain's ouster pakistan has not find a world class off spinner. World cricket will remember Saqlain as ' Father of DOOSRA'. If he represent England in international cricket, then world will watch again a class of spin.

  • Vijay V.S on July 17, 2007, 9:49 GMT

    I just CANNOT BELIEVE that Pakistan has willingly let go a hugely talented off-spinner like Saqlain. I'm from India and I know how fabulous he was and can be, even against the Indian batsmen. What is it with Pakistan or rather, the PCB, that they are willing to forgo hugely talented cricketers - Aqib Javed (God, how we Indian fans used to be in awe of him), Saqlain Mushtaq, Basit Ali etc - without a care in the world. Pakistan produces supremely talented cricketers (more than India) but I feel they are never utilised properly and are tossed aside far too easily.

  • Waqar on July 17, 2007, 9:07 GMT

    I totally agree with Kamran. That is not a winners move and above all, it shouldn't even be possible to make such a move. You have played internationally for a country once and that's it. No more switching. Just like football. Young football players with a dual nationality have to make choice and then stick to it. They should really make a law of this. We are not talking about club cricket but playing for a country with all emotions included.

  • Azi on July 17, 2007, 2:18 GMT

    Pakistan historically produces raw diamonds. But a diamond isn't a diamond unless it has shape. There is no appreciation for talent or potential and at times it seems the PCB expects players to walk out and play like God in their first game and not drop the standard in any other. Attapatu had a miserable start to his career and Steve Waugh wasn't even known for his batting when he began yet their boards had full faith in their abilities. Mushtaq Ahmed wasn't appreciated by the PCB and he went and made his career with the counties. Even away from cricket, our countries' problem is the same. A few years ago I asked a shop keeper in lahore for albums by Rahat Ali Khan and he said they don't keep it because he isn't Nusrat. He's spent a few years in India and he's delivering hit after hit. The same could be said for Adnan Sami.

    At the end of the day, the PCB is heading towards a West Indies like situation where cricket might not be the only sport around and then when the talent stops coming through, inefficiencies in the board will be ruthlessly exposed (not that they aren't already).

  • salman on July 16, 2007, 22:03 GMT

    Again an immature and impractical assessment of the situation by you kamran. You fail to understand that Saqlain is a professional , he needs to play if he is not given a chance by pakistan whats wrong in playing for England. don't make it a holy war , its a game of cricket. Believe it or not Saqlain was very poorly handled by the PCB. Its what they are trying to do inzamam now, Saqlain should play from whereever he can get a place and the best thing would be that he wins a test match for England against pakistan so that the clowns of PCB get their eyes opened.

    salman

  • Chanuka on July 16, 2007, 16:53 GMT

    David Furrows has brought somthing new. Saqlain was unable to take wicket without Wasim and like Murali without Vass. Well then my friend you missed out Warne without Mcgrath didn't you.

  • Dr. Adnan on July 16, 2007, 15:44 GMT

    If Saqlain wants to play for England, because the corrupt PCB, like most things and people in Pakistan, forgot him and threw him on the road, then he should pursue this by all means. At least if he messes up for England, they won't just throw him away. They will give him the reasons for dropping him and tell him how he can win his place back.

    PCB on the otherhand is a joke. The Pakistan team is a joke. Time after time they let millions down.

    I for one fully support him.

  • Yasin on July 16, 2007, 14:45 GMT

    I dont agree with Kamran. Yes he should be loyal to Pakistan but he is professional. Secondly, he has not been supported by PCB or government for his comeback and ability to play, it was England which brought him to such stage. It is good if he makes comeback with Pakistan but I don't mind England for him either.

  • Suhaib Jalis Ahmed on July 16, 2007, 13:03 GMT

    If I were to comment on my sentiments regarding Saqlain's inclinatio towards England, I would say I feel a bit hurt.

    HOWEVER, if I were to think what is better for Saqlain, I would say that he should go with whatever seems to be a better professional choice. He already holds dual nationality, meaning that he has accepted that he is partly from England now. So why not go ahead and join their national team?

    Although it would be really weird if he was to play for England against Pakistan. :)

  • Shehzad Ghani on July 16, 2007, 12:42 GMT

    I think Saqlain should be commended that he is still at least thinking about playing for Pakistan. I believe he should come back since Salahuddin Sallu, the chief selector was recently saying in a TV show that they are looking for a good spinner "in the mould of Saqlain Mushtaq". Why in his mould if is still fit and available?!

  • Shehzad Ghani on July 16, 2007, 12:40 GMT

    Saqlain is a bowler who I used to think would captain Pakistan becuase of his commitment. I am not even talking about his talent, which no words can do justice to. Pakistan wasted his talent by igoring him after a small dip in form. They should have persevered with such a gem. Then they demoralized him by ignoring him again during his time of injury and need. Now, they have apointed his pupil (Shoaib Malik speaks VERY highly of him and his work under Saqi) as the captain of the team, which Saqi should originally have captained!

  • rext on July 16, 2007, 8:02 GMT

    I'm sorry but I just don't understand your comments re Andrew Symonds. What country "groomed him"?? He came to Australia as a child and AUSTRALIA groomed him! We don't import players, or coaches!! I'm sure you would prefer to have your facts straight but this embarrassing one slipped through. I've given up regularly reading this blog as dills like javed khan bore us to tears with their self importance, but I will read it when you post something about Henry Lawson (that's Geoff to the unknowing!)as I'm sure it will be fun!!

  • Usman on July 16, 2007, 8:00 GMT

    quite a lot of people cannot bear that Saqi who once played for Pakistan might play for England...but i think he should b/c of what the PCB has done to him after he had done some great things for Pakistan cricket, he is by far the best spinner we have, but his career ruined...he deserved better, much better but PCB just ruined his talent

  • srivathsan on July 16, 2007, 7:49 GMT

    Though I usually concur with kamran, this occasion I differ & fully agree with Mr.khansahab.Saqlain has not joined the army , though as a citizen he is entitled to but only sports that too if chosen by ECB.What's wrong in opting for a different country when ignored in your own backyard ? Are there not asians working abroad in a company who may be competetors to a company back home ? Do we call it unpatriotic ?This should also be viwed in the same manner.May be having played for pakistan for a long time ,he may be little bit embarassed to play against it for some time ,but time will remove that inhibition.After all this is a game & should be taken sportively .

  • Pak Fan on July 16, 2007, 5:59 GMT

    Perhaps the PCB should review Saqi proactively now and perhaps approach him before he makes a decision.

    For that the PCB needs to be sure that they will have a place for him.

    I don't blaim Saqi for considering his options. I guess what will be difficult for him will be playing against Pakistan.

    Regards,

  • swaugh on July 16, 2007, 4:37 GMT

    Do your research, pal. Andrew Symonds, though born in England, was adopted by Australian parents. Although technically he could have played for England, it is simply not true that he only took up 'Australian qualifications' just prior to his international debut - he was always 'Australian' by dint of his parents' nationality and his upbringing in Australia. This is very different to Pieterson, who turned his back on south africa when things didnt go his way - as a result, i feel sorry for the sith efricans, and would therefore feel sorry for pakistan if saqlain did the same thing.

  • Arsh on July 15, 2007, 23:58 GMT

    Real test will come on when he is playing for England and England is playing Pakistan. Imagine being in his shoes at that time. .

  • David Furrows on July 15, 2007, 23:02 GMT

    Kamran, I find your comments quite offensive. It reminds me of Bernard Manning's "if a dog is born in a stable it doesn't make it a horse" quip.

    Saqlain Mushtaq used to be a Pakistani, and a great servant to Pakistan cricket he was, excepting his antics before a Test match in South Africa several years ago.

    But when he got injured the PCB and national team captain basically abandoned him. He moved on: he married an English woman and moved to England, i.e. he became English.

    It is Pakistan which showed disloyalty to Saqlain, not the man who showed disloyalty to the country.

    Besides, he was only a success at international (like Murali with Vaas) for as long as he had a left-armer's rough to bowl into. As soon as Wasim Akram retired that disappeared, and so did Saqlain's ability to take international wickets.

  • vaz shabir on July 15, 2007, 22:21 GMT

    Saqlain Mushtaq should not play for England as he has played hundreds of games for Pakistan. He is a PURE PAKISTANI and hence should let some proper English spinners have a go, Doshi of Surrey for the 20 20 world cup- hes got the best record in that form of the games i believe 50 wickets. Anyhow last year when England played Pakistan Monty and Saj Mahmmod were batting and the Barmy Army sang THERE IS NOT EVEN AN ENGLISHMAN ON THE PITCH' No matter how much he tries hel never get the same love as the Green of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

  • Sitarah Anjum-London(UK) on July 15, 2007, 22:16 GMT

    Well, after long absence from the blog Kamran Sahib's recent post prompted me to share my opinion. After reading views from others I also agree that Saqlain has been overlooked by PCB and did not receive the honour he deserved for all his service and inventing the master art of DOOSRA. If millions of Pakistanis carrying dual nationalities in UK and other countries can offer their services outside Pak for their better future then why not Saqi? Cricket is not different from other professions. Everyone has the right to explore new avenues. If Pakistan does not value his talents then why object over his willingness to play for England? In fact it will be an honour to represent a different country and improve the shattered image of Pakistan abroad. Why would it be unfair for other English players if Saqi gets thumbs up and is selected in English team, I just don’t get it Kamran? It's all about performance, talent and capability. Whoever performs better should make the place in any team regardless of country of origin or religion. I agree with all the writers on this blog who supported and wished best luck to Saqi. I'm with you Saqi!!. If so may players aged 30 and 30+ can play in Pakistan team (Younas Khan, Shoib Akher, M.Yousaf) then why can't You Saqlain? You just need will power and keep up your fitness. No matter what even if you play for England I will still be proud of you as you are the proud son of Pakistani nation! C'mon people stop the slogan of so-called patriotism or all of you who are making hell let of money outside Pakistan move back home and serve your own country first. Stop being a hypocrite and you Kamran think before when you write blogs like this !!

  • WASIM SAQIB on July 15, 2007, 18:37 GMT

    Everybody supporting Saqlain should ask one question to themselves where was he since 2004,did he tried to play any domestic cricket to regain and prove his fitness and form or was he sitting home and thinking that he should be included in the team by default,it has become a fashion that most of the players who lose form and fitness and eventually lose their place in the team they start talking in the media when they really should be trying to impress the selectors by playing domestic cricket,his past performances are in the past the question is where does he stand today.

    He made similar statements before the India/ Pakistan series in 2004 just to get selected,and we all remember his performance, the way he got thrashed in bowling and the way he threw his wicket at a critical moment.

    I don't think either team will select him he can only play County cricket for a couple of seasons because in my opinion he didn't lose his form he lost his edge his bowling over the years became to easy to read for the opposition.

  • Abdul Kadir Hussain on July 15, 2007, 11:59 GMT

    Kamran you gloss over one main point. There is a difference between Nationalism and loyatly. Nationalism is, for the most part in-born, loyalty is earned. Where was the PCB and Pakistan cricket in the 3 years that Saqlain went from operation to operation from one health crises to the next. True, a lot of this was self inflicted, his greed in playing for Surrey and grossly over bowling himself there had a lot to do with his injury problems. But here was arguably the greatest spinner Pakistan had ever produced and possibly the best off-spinner ever (I mean one with a legal action!). Yet our authorities let him flounder from pillar to post without so much as a phone call (at least that is what he claims). Under such circumstances his reluctance to seal his future with Pakistan is understandable.

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on July 15, 2007, 9:54 GMT

    First of all I don’t understand why people can’t tolerate an opposing opinion. If Mr Abbasi feels Saqlain should not play for England than it is his opinion and it must be respected. I disagreed with him on that point and dealt with the matter in a decent and tolerant manner; read my post if in doubt. I don’t want to mention specific names but some people get downright insulting and intolerant and they end up looking like idiots, not the blog owner. It is his decency that he allows those posts but I feel no hostile or insulting comments should be permitted.

    One of the unfortunate posters thinks I refer to Kaneria’s current or recent form when I stated that he was taking a five wicket haul in every other match, around the time Saqlain was losing his form. This gentleman needs to realise that I was talking about a few years ago, the time when Kaneria used to be considered the next Shane Warne. I referred to the time of Kaneria’s entry into international cricket. Plus, he is still used as an “attacking” option and the reason why he is given so many overs and the reason why he is provided with the liberty to concede many runs is because he gets you the wickets. This gentleman also thinks that I stated Saqlain is a match fixer. This gentleman should read my post again so he realises that I only stated that there are “allegations” against Saqlain, just like allegations against almost every player who played under Wasim Akram’s captaincy. I specifically stated that the allegations are “unsubstantiated”. Hence, I was not accusing Saqlain of any wrongdoing.

  • Comeon Saqi on July 15, 2007, 6:25 GMT

    Saqlain's conversion will not be an admission of failure but his performances will be a salp on the face of the selectors and the so called criketing critics who wrote off such a valuable Pakistani asset.

    Just tell me any bowler since him and Wasim who has been able to bowl so well in the last ten overs. Or maybe try out some best statistics esp. in ODIs, you will finmd him everywhere.

    And tell me how many match winning 5 wicket hauls have been taken by Kaneria agiant competitive opposition resulting in Pak victories. As one person suggests in the comments, that he takes 5 wicket haul in every other match, may he also state the opposition score. If the opposition scores over 500 and one of our bowlers keeps bowling on one end, in all probability he should take atleast a 5 wicket haul!

    And would anyone tell me what sort of match fixing scandals pertaining to Saqi have ever been made public. Was he convicted by Justice Qayyum, never!!

    And all this political rubbish is none sense, Saqi wants to play at the top level, and if we refuse to give him the chance in the name of so called rebuilding process, then he has every right to play for any country. And by the way, cricket and cricketers earn more respect in Engalnd then our shoddy media and cricketing illitetare fans out here.

    Please justify his dwindling form, i just cant beleive that any class cricketer is labelled in such a way on the basis of one-off matches!!

  • Omer Admani on July 15, 2007, 0:40 GMT

    Saqlain should go and ahead and play for England if he can, but it should seem a bit hypocritical in his case as I saw him curse the hell out of Owais Shah in a Pakistan-England match. What an irony...

  • WASIM SAQIB on July 14, 2007, 18:35 GMT

    Saqlain can only fancy his chances with either team if he proves his fitness and form, its too early to talk about his inclusion in either team.

  • ubaid on July 14, 2007, 17:50 GMT

    Let's put ourselves in his shoes. He invented something never before seen in world cricket (not just an arm ball but a ball that moves the other way). He is the only one in the world that can bowl it legitimately. i.e without bending his elbow. Legendary batsmen have been his bunnies. He had a country like austrailia in his hand when he toured there. Yet we didn't accord him the respect that he deserved. And now we are telling him, we won't pick you but don't play for anyone else either. Kamran bhai, your words would carry more weight if you were in pakistan.

  • Sri on July 14, 2007, 16:44 GMT

    Well said Khansahab absolutely. I'd add just one more point. Being a fan of the game, it is so wrong that Saqlain is in the current situation. In my mind, he is an innovator -- someone who came up with a great new trick. Considering the number of years he still has to exhibit his talents, it will be a shame if he doesn't get to play more cricket at the top level.

  • Mahdee Jameel on July 14, 2007, 16:24 GMT

    >Saqlain will never play for England due to the >talent England have i.e. Monty Panesar, Adil Rashid

    It's funny that all the spinners you mention have roots in Indian subcontinent.If they can be chosen,why not saqi?And believe me,he had the talent to be one of the all time greats,and if he can produce in the county,I see no reason for not picking him.

  • mahmood on July 14, 2007, 16:19 GMT

    he is professional cricketer and has the right to play from where ever he wants to. As you do jobs and go for better prospects. SO good luck saqi. We should see from this perspective that cricket is benefiting or not Coz we want to see Saqi in action as a cricket lover.

  • Ghalib Khan on July 14, 2007, 16:07 GMT

    well the game of cricket have flourished over the years......people love it......WHY? People loved it when australia was playing england in ashes or Pakistan Vs India match............it was that great rivalry between the nations which lead to excietment and intense flow of emotion....and this rivalry between the teams and nations.....every player is commited to win for his country.....the team belongs to the nation.....if u curtail this realtionship of affection with ur team and ultimately nation......propably u will kill that game.....and offering services like doctors and engineers is a differnt ball game......well done MR Abbasi....Nations should play each other rather than a set of players...

  • FAWAD on July 14, 2007, 16:04 GMT

    No offense MR.ABBASI but u need 2 get a reality check coz for just alone accusing sum1 just bcoz he thinking abt playin for the country he wasnt born in but u on the other hand r makin money in the same country u dont want him 2 play for ? WOW Saqlain was n still is the best spinner in Pakistan n ppl r preferring Kaneria over him ?! this is unbelieveable! so wht he lost his mojo? every1 player goes thru this phase ... he shud b in Pakistan team right now ... i have a question frm every1 on this blog tell me who is the only spinner besides Warne who is a lock in all forms of cricket i.e TESTS, ODI's n 20Twenty? i'm hoping tht PCB gets smart n bring him in the team ASAP... Kaneria is good but not as good as SAQLAIN...sure he takes his wickets but check the stats how many overs he bowls 2 get all those wickets... in this modern day cricket with hifi tech coaching staff ur bound 2 b found somehow by the other teams but all the class acts finds something new n keep adding 2 their arsenel... this is mind boggling tht a guy who invented DOOSRA cant even be in the team ? i mean u have 2 be genius but there's no place in the team 4 a genius like him... he deserves a place in all 3 forms of games b4 alot of players in this team... God Bless Him n hopefuly he'll b as successful as he was 4 any country he plays 4..

  • hugh janus on July 14, 2007, 16:01 GMT

    i think kamran is reading too much into saqlain's comments. he didnt categorically say that he wants to play for england. all he said was 'yes there is a possibitly given that i am now british'.

  • Sheikhu on July 14, 2007, 15:51 GMT

    Mr. Abassi,

    Usually I am in complete agreement with you, but this time it seems your heart got in the way of rational thought. He will be receiving his British citizenship next year and is currently married to a British woman. So the plans, it seems are that he will stay in England. I see no issue of him representing the country of his residence. The fickleness of the Pakistani board and selectors would probably make me want to jump ship as well.

  • imran khan Jadoon on July 14, 2007, 15:42 GMT

    I think kamran Abbasi is absolutely right. Saqlain is a mercenary the doors to Pakistan are closed and he is now a British national. He was once a good bowler, who overbowled his doosra, and is now a spent force. England should concentrate on youth and build a team with Panesar as the premier spinning option. Saqlain is a spent force.

  • Faisal Kader on July 14, 2007, 15:37 GMT

    After the way he was treated in Pakistan I think Saqlain has every right to wish to play for England. Pakistani cricket management instead of supporting and helping him, left him out of the team. He used to be a champion bowler, how many spinners do you know who would willingly bowl during the last 5 overs of a one day game. People have very short memories, let a person do what he wants in life rather than criticizing him, we shoud support him. Saqlain its your life you do what you want in life and let others say what they want. At the end of the day you should be satisfied with your life, others don't matter.

  • Javed Hason on July 14, 2007, 15:25 GMT

    Generally my feeling is that a player should only be eligible for the country that provided him with the training and facilities to learn his craft. By that token I was not happy at the likes of Pieteren either.

    But I don't blame the players. They are professionals, do a job and have to earn enough to provide for their families. The blame lies with the authorities (ICC and national boards) whose rules allow for such anomolies.

  • Pratik on July 14, 2007, 15:25 GMT

    Before castigating Saqlain, perhaps you should take note of the words of the man himself. Quoting from cricinfo's july 12th article -

    "It hurts that no one bothered to just call me or ask me how I was doing," he said. "It was as if I didn't exist. I didn't care about them footing my medical bills but the moral support was never there."

    You just cant treat a man like trash and expect him to stick to you.

  • Euceph Ahmed on July 14, 2007, 15:23 GMT

    I'm trying to fathom exactly what it is you're trying to say here. Can you expound a little further on how Saqlain playing for England would be any more unfair on English spinners than Monty Panesar or Adil Rashid playing for England? Is Saqlain any less English after having legitimately aquired British citizenship, or are you drawing a distinction between England-born and others? Is there such a thing as more "gora" than thou? What exactly is it that you mean by "English spinners"? Aren't these all "English spinners" anyway?

    Then you mention that instead of thinking about playing for England Saqlain should fight for his career. As far as I can tell, as a professional, Saqlain's career is playing cricket. A doctor's career is to treat patients. Does it matter which patients? Or, does it?

    Then in your closing sentence you mention that "his conversion to England would be an admission of failure and an act of convenience, unworthy of the spirit of cricket". Does this mean that England are any less of a cricket team than Pakistan that they would blindly accept Pakistan rejects? And if you mean Saqlain's failure to be selected for Pakistan, then what is better for a professional cricketer - playing or not playing? It's OK if he plays for Sussex, but it's not OK if he plays for England. Convoluted logic, Abbasi Sahab, totally convoluted. I'd say it's a pity you mention nothing of the open arms with which English Cricket and the English public is embracing these players as their own.

    Now would you post this one or have I touched so many wrong nerves that you would simply hit the delete button one more time on me? I dare not criticize your favorite jingos.

  • Zeeshan Bhayani on July 14, 2007, 15:13 GMT

    What in the world is Kamran Abbasi talking about? Saqlain Mushtaq has acquired British nationalityand since he is eligible to play for England, why shouldn't he practice that option. Cricket is a professional sport. Just as a doctor or professional who acquires the work permit to work in a country other than that of his birth, so can any cricketer. Professionalism is about aiming higher and making more name and money for yourself. Just as we ourselves would like to earn in dollars or pounds in the US, Canada or UK being in the profession we are, so should Saqlain. Its his right and he should be allowed to practice it. And why should he be "faithful" to Pakistan or "care about the spirit of the game". Pakistan has a long history of degrading its heroes right from Hanif Muhammad to Inzamam. Saqlain has been on the recieving end of it too. Now when he has a chance to turn the tables on the same selfish PCB, he should really rub coal on their face, play for England and perform exceptionally well against Pakistan, the same way Pietersen did against South Africa. Good luck, Saqi.

  • Usman Lakhani on July 14, 2007, 15:08 GMT

    This is such a narrow view , presented by Mr Abbasi. Basically he is saying that if a man , whose bread and butter is cricket, should keep waiting for PCB to recall him. Till then he should not aspire to 'work' at the highest echelon of his profession. By this same logic, all pakistani born engineers and doctors etc should not work hard at their jobs in England - heavens forbid they might be promoted and if that happens then they are breaking the spirit of being a good hard working professional.

  • JAVED A. KHAN, MONTREAL, CANADA on July 14, 2007, 14:46 GMT

    The Rise and Fall of Saqi is the epitome of a brilliant Pakistani off-spinner who had the honours of bowling in the death overs in ODI matches, very often the last over of the game. He also had the honour of taking the quickest 100 wickets ever in ODI, for an off spinner its something rare. So talented that he invented the doosra, a name like googly and flipper will remain forever. He even has got an unbeaten century at test level which is forgotten by most of us. Mr. Abbassi says, Saqlain gave hope for a teesra, but unfortunately after the Multan massacre he faded off into oblivion. It wasn't his fault, the pitch was flat and the fielding was sloppy as usual, and more than a dozen catches were dropped.

    Now his reoccurrence or re-emergence in the English county cricket does not mean he will qualify for the English team. I don't think that kinda thought ever crossed into his mind. To me it appears more of Mr. Abbassi's fishful thinking. As a fellow Pakistani his imagination is taking him beyond the realm of reality. Its neither a 'conversion of convenience' nor a ray of hope for any kinda convergence that he would be able to play for England. By securing his residency in the UK is more like securing his future in financial terms which some of us call it, a confluence of convenience where two or more streams or cultures flowing together in that country and, like a million others Saqlain is one of the fishes in that stream. And he is more like a "Rahu" of Lahore and not a Salmon returning to spawn and complete the rites of his fall.

    He is 30 years old, may be if it was a decade ago, I would have said, yes he may have a chance to play for England. But with so many British born Asian youngsters from the sub-continent already lined up for a spot in the English team, Saqlain has no chance. I was reading the interview of Nasser Hussain's father Jawad Hussain, he made a very valid point about the attitude of the Asian origin English players in the UK and I am quoting his words here: "Take a chap like Collingwood, compare him to Owais Shah – Shah is way more talented, miles ahead but Collingwood through sheer hard work has made it. So many Asian boys get country contracts for one-two years and then disappear." There are other notable names of players like Kabir Ali, Vikram Solanki, Ramprakash, Sajid Mahmood etc., who have already played for England but, with no consistency.

    Monty is the only exception and he has already recognized and secured his place in the team and is rated as one of their key bowlers. Among their budding players, Adil Rashid and the new kid on the block from Scotland, Rana Majid Haq Khan who took 4 wickets of the current West Indies team in the recent ODI match, three of them top order batsmen he clean bowled them, he impressed me a lot. The point is whether he would be consistent is a big question mark. With so many players in the queue, Saqlain has no chance of going anywhere near the English playing XI mainly because of his age. Otherwise, the 37 year Moulvi Mushtaq is still taking wickets at the county championships, if that is the criteria he too should be a contender for the English team. County matches and club level cricket is different, but the ECB won't consider them in their national team, especially players with that kinda age and background.

    My last point is slightly off topic but, it is important and I would like to raise a voice here in support of Shoaib Akhtar's cry for help. The new rule, a free hit on a no-ball to be implemented in the 50 overs ODI matches which already exists in twenty20 game is ridiculous and way too much of a penalty for the bowler in the 50 over game. Its like giving away runs to a batsman on a silver platter. Any rule must be an equal opportunity for both i.e., batsman and the bowler. Already, when the bowler bowls a no-ball the umpire yells and screams it as a no-ball and it is the test for a batsman to use his skills and throw his bat at it and that is enough. You cannot go any further and say OK you are dumb and you didn't hear it, so the next ball is a free hit go ahead and try to belt it for a six. One might argue that its an equal opportunity for both the teams, but how much more advantage are you willing to give it to a batsman? The pitches are tailor made to score more runs, the power plays and so on are all in favour of the batsmen, so whats the need to bring this rule into the ODI format?

  • Ossamah Shabbir on July 14, 2007, 14:24 GMT

    I disagree. Saqlain tried his best to represent Pakistan but our POS politics and selectors kept him out. If someone else appreciates him more than us then why not play for that country? Cricket is a profession and just like a Doctor, Engineer, a Cricketer is allowed to play where ever.

  • EAMIRAN on July 14, 2007, 14:17 GMT

    1)One initially starts playing for the love of the sport and not for the love of the country. Both are mutually exclusive. 2)If one is a good enough than one wants to get to the next level. Playing for the country can become a goal. 3) If one reaches the highest level (International) then one usually gets well rewarded financially. This is probably the time when "playing-for-the-pride-of-the-country" feelings are fostered. 3) Professionals who have played at the highest levels want to continue playing at those levels because a) they would naturally like to compete at that level and not go down to a lower rung of competition, in other words - pride b) they are used to the financial rewards gained at the highest levels and c) for the fame and recognition. It must be hard to acknowledge the fact that one has become a "has-been".

    This , I feel, is the case of Saqlain. Realistically he has no hope of playing for Pakistan. There are other brighter, younger and equally skilled prospects waiting in the wings. Lets face it, Saqlains strength lay in ODI's - in tests his impact was not great. Before he was dropped, he had lost his effectiveness even in ODI's - granted injuries played a part. With a plethora of middling and part-time spinners in the ODI squad, all of whom are better batsman and fielders, Saqlain is a redundancy. Besides, do we really want yet another player who sincerely beleives he will be delivered 72 (or is it 71?) virgins in his afterlife.

    Saqlain was the master and founding father of the "doosra", but his time in Pakistan cricket has come and gone. He served the country well. Good luck in his latest endeavour, although I seriously doubt England will ever select him at this time in his career.

  • Irfan B Shaikh on July 14, 2007, 12:07 GMT

    Sorry Kamran bhai, but I don’t agree with you at all. We malign our cricketing legends everyday and keep talk of the so called rebuilding process at the expense of our star cricketers. We are a test playing nation almost for last six decades and yet the same old rebuilding process props up after every world cup. We never have a settled side, our best 11 never end up on field, there is always a senior-cricketer mania advocated by the power hungry administrators and boosted by our shoddy media. Is world cup cricket the only meaningful objective of Pakistan cricket?

    Just take example of Saqlain, such a committed and dexterous cricketer and I just don’t know what sort of scandals you are talking about. His statistics are a proof of his exceptional performance, esp. the ODI statistics are just unbelievable for a spinner. His services in the last 10 overs won us huge number of matches and to date we struggle in that department after the demise of Wasim and him. Just recall the circumstances in which he was dropped after the 2003 world cup, where he was shockingly dropped in both the Australia and India matches. His performance in the England match was exceptional as he got rid of Flintoff at a very crucial juncture. Still he was dropped only to be recalled in a single ODI match vs South Africa and dropped again. If my memory is good enough, then he only came back for a test vs India at Multan. Interestingly, despite having one of the best ODI records, if not the best, he was ruthlessly ignored in the ODI series preceding the test series despite being in the 15 member squad. In fact in Khi ODI, Rana Naveed was given debut over Saqi despite the injury to Shabbir!

    This is the humiliating way of our treatment to our legends. Just tell me, when was the last time a Pakistani cricketing legend was given a deserving exit. Cynics point out that they just don’t want it and keep playing beyond their expected retirements. Justify that in the context of Alec Stewart, Ian Healy, Darren Gough, Steve Waugh and the list goes on...Even in the not so good examples, the level of humiliation is simply too grave in our case. The PCB bosses and administration deserve such humiliation but they never get it as they are always too powerful for our sports media.

    You have suggested that he lost his place due to injuries, but have the PCB even dared to look after him or for that matter promising cricketers like Muhammad Wasim, Muhammad Zahid, Shahid Nazir, etc. Just tell me what did poor Shahid Nazir do wrong? Only flamboyant guys like Shoaib Akhtar and Shahid Afridi appear match winners to our cricketing community esp. the so called experts. Who has won us more matches Saqi or Shoaib or more importantly who will win us more matches in future, I think we all know the answer.

    I just don’t understand “the declining form” excuse unless it is supplemented by the very political machinations indicated by you. I would love to see you provide us some details in this regard. At least at the time of Waqar's captaincy, Saqlain was targeted quite openly, e.g. dropped in vital matches in WC, in the preceding August after just one match (when Jonty dismissed all our bowlers in a small stadium in Morocco), and preferring himself over Saqi in the last 10 overs. Yet the media as always remains silent caring only after the flamboyant cricketers and power circles in PCB.

    How long do you expect to humiliate a person? And then expect him to wait when, if ever, PCB and our media look down favourably upon him. Dropping Azhar Mahmood and even Saqi (as he is fit now and an ideal bowler in those conditions as he does exceptionally well in the last ten overs) from the probables for twenty-twenty world cup is unbelievable if you ask anybody who watches Azhar’s performances at the county screen esp. in that form of game. Your comments that "he had nothing" are another outrageous addition against a person with such gyle and skill. If you base your views on figures of 1 for 196 in the Multan test, then do consider how Sami dropped a sitter by Sehwag off Saqi early on and how did the other bowlers fared (both Indian and Pakistani in the 1st innings). Also consider that he played the match with injections in his shoulder and Kaneria returned with almost identical figures in the 3rd test at a much more supporting track!!

    Saqlain's conversion (if it ever happens) would at least disclose how pathetic we treat our legends and his performances will (INSHALLAH) be the proof in this regard, a real slap on the face of our prestigious selectors. They commit unbelievable blunders, which includes dropping a cricketer from a complete home test series vs England when his last test innings at Galle was a century. Younis Khan returned with a 142 & 91 in his next match in New Zealand. Do you expect some cricketer to leave his destiny in the hands of such stupid men?

    And I have conducted a poll at a local internet community where 95% people support Saqi's option to play for England if he continues to be ignored by PCB and the Pakistani media. (Here is the link: http://www.orkut.com/Community.aspx?cmm=1921802, you can delete the link as it may be inappropriate here...)

    (Sorry Kamran Bhai for any harsh words, you could delete them if you want to. Believe it or not, but Kamran bhai, these are all the things that I could easily recall; such is the gravity of these outrageous events on a passionate fan like me. And I am sorry about any mistakes left therein.)

  • Asim on July 14, 2007, 11:33 GMT

    I don't agree with Mr. Abbasi that saqlain's inclusion in the English side will be unfair to english spinners. Since, he is going to be a british national and therfore he has every right to persue his cricketing profession in England. Also, his carrer has been severly tarnished by PCB, although he was and he is the best off spinner pakistan has ever produced. So, why should he wait for PCB's decision to pick him and ruin his remaining cricketing years. PCB has wasted millions on lost horses like Shoiab Akhtar, but they never bothered to care about the jewel of pakistan cricket i.e. Saqlain Mushtaq. Therefore, Saqlain has right to persue his carrer with English side, so the cricketing world will be able to see the pioneer of 'doosra' in action again.

  • Osman Ali Khairi on July 14, 2007, 11:31 GMT

    Frankly, I’m in a state of ambivalence here, wondering whether to endorse Saqlain's eagerness to don the English cap or to deprecate his intent for not persevering with Pakistan and fighting for his career. Saqlain’s quote in this context can help articulate the views of those in favor of his move to England. "They didn't need to cover my medical bills but they could have at least called, to enquire how I was doing". ‘They’ of course being referred to our highly competent and impartial cricket board-) I think that pretty much encapsulates how the PCB and even our public at large have treated people, that have represented our country, once they are out of the limelight! I have observed over the years that the respective boards of both, hockey and cricket have a disturbing tendency to completely overlook the achievements of bygone stars and correspondingly, ignore their financial constraints and other problems once they are no longer intricately involved with the game, albeit temporarily. As it is, an overwhelming majority of the people running these boards are unprofessional, discourteous and sickeningly materialistic. Keeping this in mind, if our cricket board decided to cast Saqlain away, at a time when he was down in the dumps and struggling with injuries, and couldn’t even give him a ring to ask how he was shaping up, well I guess one has to embrace a pragmatic approach and side with Saqlain for his apparent intentions of playing for England. After having given it his all for Pakistan in the past, if this is the treatment he gets from the free riders and fraudulent bureaucrats in the Cricket Board, he has every right to fight for his place in the English team. And Kamran, I disagree with you over it not being fair to the spinners in England. The way I see it, competition breeds better players and Saqlain’s presence will only encourage the upcoming spinners in England to become even better exponents of their art. Nevertheless, it will be a sad day when I see Saqlain in English colors playing against the country of his origin…. For his sake though, I hope he gets the respect that he duly deserves from the British public and does well for himself in the years to come.

  • Hussain on July 14, 2007, 11:30 GMT

    Don't agree at all. If anything, Saqlain will be appreciated more in the England team than he was in the pakistani team. I have read articles on Cricinfo stating he was the first one to "master" doosra which is true but not entirely correct. I believe he was the one who invented AND mastered doosra. I always wanted him to break records since he was so young when he peaked but unfortunately he was thrown into wilderness (something PCB loves to do with its superstars) I hope he gets selected and improves his test record and continue his excellent record in ODIs

  • Ahsan Ullah on July 14, 2007, 11:30 GMT

    I fully support Saqlain's decision about planning to play for England. Pakistan has not supported him in the days he needed PCB. He gave every thing to Pakistan. And just tell me what PCB returned? You can never get a spinner of his potential. He had everything, and still has. After a return of almost 3 years, he was still bowling with same control. His doosras were turning and he was getting bounce. He got Laxman out, potentially one of the worlds best spin players. I will conclude by saying "If Pakistan doesn't offer him a contract he should play for England."

  • Muhammad Mubashir Hassan on July 14, 2007, 11:25 GMT

    I would back Saqlain because he was left in wilderness and no one came to his rescue (neither financially or morally). Unlike Shoaib Akhtar, Saqlain was proven match winner and partnership breaker but still he was not helped during his tougher times. Coming towards the talk of better spinner I mean between Saqlain and Kaneria; Kanaria is very good when the wicket is supporting and initial break throughs have been made as evident by his performance in England. On the other hand Saqlain has provided the major shares of wicket while keeping the off-spinners economy as well.

  • SYED SHAHNAWAZ ALAM on July 14, 2007, 11:21 GMT

    Saqlain will Insha-allah bounce back with his superb talent that is wasted by the pakistani board .

  • Javed Shaukat on July 14, 2007, 11:19 GMT

    Mr Abbasi is a tribalist and wants Saqlain to forget about about playing international cricket because his tribe matters or the members of that tribe will feel threatened because this "foreigner" will take their place. The excuse of "not fair to other spinners" is just silly. You don't owe the imaginary boundry lines around a piece of land enforced by politics anything. I hope Saqlain plays for England and takes five fors against Pakistan. Why don't you go and practice medicine or whatever iti s that you do in Pakistan? It's a bit unfair to englishman that you're taking up their space and patients.

  • S M AZMAT SHAH on July 14, 2007, 11:06 GMT

    You are right Kamran Sahib,at least being a patriotic Paki, i cant bear this that a bowler who would once dance for Pakistan if he would take a wicket, will now dance for England if he gets a chance to play for England.But again ,i would say, he wasnt properly dealt, when he was out of form.

  • Mustafa Mirza on July 14, 2007, 11:02 GMT

    I think Pakistani selectors have made it fairly obvious that Saqlain does not figure in their plans. England's gain is Pakistan's loss, but if its the only way for us to see Saqlain play test cricket again so be it. Hopefully Saqlain's pragmatic decision will make our selectors think twice before they toss the next great player aside

  • Mursaleen on July 14, 2007, 11:02 GMT

    Saqlain should be part of Pakistan team. I am waiting for the time when he plays for Pakistan again. I think he should not give up like this. He was a magical bowler, may be one of the best off spinners Pakistan has ever produced and at one time we thought he would be able to break Wasim's record for most wickets in ODIs. I cant see any reason why saqlain can not be a part of Pak team if Shoaib Malik is playing. Now Shoaib being the captain of Pakistan, we should think on the lines that shoaib is a better batesmen but not a spinner of saqlain's class who could replace saqlain like that

  • Monty Panesar on July 14, 2007, 10:46 GMT

    Saqlain will never play for England due to the talent England have i.e. Monty Panesar, Adil Rashid

  • Aumian on July 14, 2007, 10:43 GMT

    I think this time Mr.Abassi is really unfair to Saqlain. It is estimated that more Pakistani born doctors, engineers and other highly qualified professionals are working and living abroad then in Pakistan. So why this double standard for a poor crickter. Almost every one who has the means already get the foreign citizenship. Good Luck Saqi for your future.

  • Sara on July 14, 2007, 10:40 GMT

    well i think saqlain should not do it coz being a pakistani he should always use his talents for pakistan which really needs it ... but on the other hand PCB is not justice to him as he's a really talented player which pakistan badly needs and lacks in the team but i just dont know y Dr Naseem Ashraf is not appointing him for the international team..

  • Muhammad Asif on July 14, 2007, 10:39 GMT

    "It seems wrong to me that a player fails to be selected for a country and then fancies his chances with another instead of fighting for his career. It is also unfair on English spinners." He's holding dual nationality like millions of other Pakistanis just to persue their careers (professions). Cricket is a profession just like other professions (a source of living) not a matter of so-called prestige. U are a Doctor & U are providing your services to the people of England instead of Pakistan then Why not Saqlain.

  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on July 14, 2007, 9:45 GMT

    I usually think along the same lines as Mr Abbasi but I am compelled to differ on this point.

    I am a British Pakistani and I tend to support England when Pakistan is not playing. Saqlain has also now become a British Pakistani and it is unlikely he will be considered by PCB in the near future. Hence I think he should go ahead and play for England. If he strikes good form in the current season and makes his willingness to play for England public, then I am sure England will pick him. It will also be good for the relations between UK and Pakistan; a former Pakistani cricketer switching commitment towards England will be perceived as a positive move by most English people. It will help the current situation where there is a huge question mark over Pakistanis’ and Muslims’ commitment to Britain. It does not matter if Saqlain’s inclusion in the England squad is “unfair on English spinners” as Mr Abbasi states. He has now become British and is a part of British society. As such he is in a similar position to Monty Panesar or Sajid Mahmood.

    Mr Abbasi also mentions that it is wrong Saqlain is not picked by Pakistan and is not fighting for his place back. In my opinion his form started waning some time before he played his last Test for Pakistan. I know his knee was giving him problems but he could just not be as effective as he once was. Also, Danish Kaneria was performing commendably and that has affected Saqlain’s place. Pakistan seem to be comfortable with one specialist spinner in Tests (Kaneria) as opposed to two. Anyone will agree that the decision to stick with Kaneria as opposed to Saqlain was a right one because Saqlain was losing the plot and on the other hand Kaneria was taking a 5 wicket haul in every other match. In modern day cricket choosing one specialist spinner seems to be the better option; Australia had Warne, Sri Lanka have Murali, India used to play both Harbhajan and Kumble but now only stick with one or the other, England had Giles and now Monty etc. Some sides like West Indies and South Africa don’t even have a full time specialist spinner. So what has happened to Saqlain is also a result of the under utilisation of specialist spinners by teams these days.

    There have been many allegations that Saqlain was involved in match fixing and was secretly and permanently “dropped” by the Selection Committee as a punitive action. Although these allegations remain unsubstantiated, as a result of which no one should call him “corrupt”, we must not rule out that possibility knowing the allegations against many of Saqlain’s contemporaries such was Wasim, Saeed Anwar, Ata ur Rehman, Aamir Sohail etc.

    Mr Abbasi mentions that Saqlain may be losing his fighting spirit but firstly we have to ask ourselves whether he has any chances with Pakistan. Pakistan has some effective spinners now in the domestic circuit like Abdur Rehman and Tahir Khan who are looking forward to a bright future with Pakistan. Also, Kaneria despite his inconsistent ODI record, remains a very potent Test option. Secondly, I think playing for England may grant him more success than if he was playing for Pakistan currently. We can safely say that England is not a side that produces world class spinners and the best spinner they have currently is Monty Panesar. If Saqlain gets in form he has the potential to be one of the best spinners ever to play for England, although in my view he has already grabbed the accolade of being Pakistan’s finest ODI spinner, no questions asked. I feel for Saqlain and I remember what a great bowler he was. Unfortunately for him, though, he was always a more effective bowler in ODI’s and it is ODI’s where his inclusion seems even more unlikely, assuming he was being considered for Pakistan. Now teams are performing well in ODI’s without the services of a specialist spinner. Pakistan are doing fine with people like Afridi, Malik, Hafeez etc. Under current circumstances Pakistan will undoubtedly opt for a medium pace bowling all rounder like Rao than a specialist-spinner all rounder like Saqlain. We have to ask ourselves whether Saqlain has a place in the team since Pakistan definitely plays three specialist pacers, one “bowling all-rounder” called Abdul Razzaq who (for some reason) is an automatic selection, and part time bowlers like Afridi and Malik. If Abdur Rehman had a permanent place in ODI’s, he is the only player whose place Saqlain could take because Saqlain can bat a bit.

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  • khansahab(A.A.Khan) on July 14, 2007, 9:45 GMT

    I usually think along the same lines as Mr Abbasi but I am compelled to differ on this point.

    I am a British Pakistani and I tend to support England when Pakistan is not playing. Saqlain has also now become a British Pakistani and it is unlikely he will be considered by PCB in the near future. Hence I think he should go ahead and play for England. If he strikes good form in the current season and makes his willingness to play for England public, then I am sure England will pick him. It will also be good for the relations between UK and Pakistan; a former Pakistani cricketer switching commitment towards England will be perceived as a positive move by most English people. It will help the current situation where there is a huge question mark over Pakistanis’ and Muslims’ commitment to Britain. It does not matter if Saqlain’s inclusion in the England squad is “unfair on English spinners” as Mr Abbasi states. He has now become British and is a part of British society. As such he is in a similar position to Monty Panesar or Sajid Mahmood.

    Mr Abbasi also mentions that it is wrong Saqlain is not picked by Pakistan and is not fighting for his place back. In my opinion his form started waning some time before he played his last Test for Pakistan. I know his knee was giving him problems but he could just not be as effective as he once was. Also, Danish Kaneria was performing commendably and that has affected Saqlain’s place. Pakistan seem to be comfortable with one specialist spinner in Tests (Kaneria) as opposed to two. Anyone will agree that the decision to stick with Kaneria as opposed to Saqlain was a right one because Saqlain was losing the plot and on the other hand Kaneria was taking a 5 wicket haul in every other match. In modern day cricket choosing one specialist spinner seems to be the better option; Australia had Warne, Sri Lanka have Murali, India used to play both Harbhajan and Kumble but now only stick with one or the other, England had Giles and now Monty etc. Some sides like West Indies and South Africa don’t even have a full time specialist spinner. So what has happened to Saqlain is also a result of the under utilisation of specialist spinners by teams these days.

    There have been many allegations that Saqlain was involved in match fixing and was secretly and permanently “dropped” by the Selection Committee as a punitive action. Although these allegations remain unsubstantiated, as a result of which no one should call him “corrupt”, we must not rule out that possibility knowing the allegations against many of Saqlain’s contemporaries such was Wasim, Saeed Anwar, Ata ur Rehman, Aamir Sohail etc.

    Mr Abbasi mentions that Saqlain may be losing his fighting spirit but firstly we have to ask ourselves whether he has any chances with Pakistan. Pakistan has some effective spinners now in the domestic circuit like Abdur Rehman and Tahir Khan who are looking forward to a bright future with Pakistan. Also, Kaneria despite his inconsistent ODI record, remains a very potent Test option. Secondly, I think playing for England may grant him more success than if he was playing for Pakistan currently. We can safely say that England is not a side that produces world class spinners and the best spinner they have currently is Monty Panesar. If Saqlain gets in form he has the potential to be one of the best spinners ever to play for England, although in my view he has already grabbed the accolade of being Pakistan’s finest ODI spinner, no questions asked. I feel for Saqlain and I remember what a great bowler he was. Unfortunately for him, though, he was always a more effective bowler in ODI’s and it is ODI’s where his inclusion seems even more unlikely, assuming he was being considered for Pakistan. Now teams are performing well in ODI’s without the services of a specialist spinner. Pakistan are doing fine with people like Afridi, Malik, Hafeez etc. Under current circumstances Pakistan will undoubtedly opt for a medium pace bowling all rounder like Rao than a specialist-spinner all rounder like Saqlain. We have to ask ourselves whether Saqlain has a place in the team since Pakistan definitely plays three specialist pacers, one “bowling all-rounder” called Abdul Razzaq who (for some reason) is an automatic selection, and part time bowlers like Afridi and Malik. If Abdur Rehman had a permanent place in ODI’s, he is the only player whose place Saqlain could take because Saqlain can bat a bit.

  • Muhammad Asif on July 14, 2007, 10:39 GMT

    "It seems wrong to me that a player fails to be selected for a country and then fancies his chances with another instead of fighting for his career. It is also unfair on English spinners." He's holding dual nationality like millions of other Pakistanis just to persue their careers (professions). Cricket is a profession just like other professions (a source of living) not a matter of so-called prestige. U are a Doctor & U are providing your services to the people of England instead of Pakistan then Why not Saqlain.

  • Sara on July 14, 2007, 10:40 GMT

    well i think saqlain should not do it coz being a pakistani he should always use his talents for pakistan which really needs it ... but on the other hand PCB is not justice to him as he's a really talented player which pakistan badly needs and lacks in the team but i just dont know y Dr Naseem Ashraf is not appointing him for the international team..

  • Aumian on July 14, 2007, 10:43 GMT

    I think this time Mr.Abassi is really unfair to Saqlain. It is estimated that more Pakistani born doctors, engineers and other highly qualified professionals are working and living abroad then in Pakistan. So why this double standard for a poor crickter. Almost every one who has the means already get the foreign citizenship. Good Luck Saqi for your future.

  • Monty Panesar on July 14, 2007, 10:46 GMT

    Saqlain will never play for England due to the talent England have i.e. Monty Panesar, Adil Rashid

  • Mursaleen on July 14, 2007, 11:02 GMT

    Saqlain should be part of Pakistan team. I am waiting for the time when he plays for Pakistan again. I think he should not give up like this. He was a magical bowler, may be one of the best off spinners Pakistan has ever produced and at one time we thought he would be able to break Wasim's record for most wickets in ODIs. I cant see any reason why saqlain can not be a part of Pak team if Shoaib Malik is playing. Now Shoaib being the captain of Pakistan, we should think on the lines that shoaib is a better batesmen but not a spinner of saqlain's class who could replace saqlain like that

  • Mustafa Mirza on July 14, 2007, 11:02 GMT

    I think Pakistani selectors have made it fairly obvious that Saqlain does not figure in their plans. England's gain is Pakistan's loss, but if its the only way for us to see Saqlain play test cricket again so be it. Hopefully Saqlain's pragmatic decision will make our selectors think twice before they toss the next great player aside

  • S M AZMAT SHAH on July 14, 2007, 11:06 GMT

    You are right Kamran Sahib,at least being a patriotic Paki, i cant bear this that a bowler who would once dance for Pakistan if he would take a wicket, will now dance for England if he gets a chance to play for England.But again ,i would say, he wasnt properly dealt, when he was out of form.

  • Javed Shaukat on July 14, 2007, 11:19 GMT

    Mr Abbasi is a tribalist and wants Saqlain to forget about about playing international cricket because his tribe matters or the members of that tribe will feel threatened because this "foreigner" will take their place. The excuse of "not fair to other spinners" is just silly. You don't owe the imaginary boundry lines around a piece of land enforced by politics anything. I hope Saqlain plays for England and takes five fors against Pakistan. Why don't you go and practice medicine or whatever iti s that you do in Pakistan? It's a bit unfair to englishman that you're taking up their space and patients.

  • SYED SHAHNAWAZ ALAM on July 14, 2007, 11:21 GMT

    Saqlain will Insha-allah bounce back with his superb talent that is wasted by the pakistani board .