July 27, 2007

Pakistan in England

How to win friends and influence cricket matches

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan

While one leggie occupies England's thoughts, another, very different one has been rampaging around the county circuit over the last two years. Mushtaq Ahmed hasn't taken as many Test wickets as a Warne or Kumble, but his career has been just as intriguing, if not more, than either. Brian Viner, in The Independent, chats to the little 'un.

And what guidance has he in turn given Warne? He grins. Under the severe, grey-streaked beard, the 37-year-old still has an appealingly cherubic face. "He doesn't need my tips, although in 1993 when he was touring for the first time in England and I was playing for Somerset, [the Australian wicketkeeper] Ian Healy asked me to have a chat with Warney, to advise him how to bowl in English conditions. I said to him that in the early summer in England the wickets are slow, so you have to bowl quicker, with less spin but more pace, getting people out with pace not variation." A chuckle.

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Siddhartha Vaidyanathan is a former assistant editor at Cricinfo

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