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February 13, 2006
Saqlain Mushtaq, the former Pakistan offspinner, is set to play for Ireland in this year's Cheltenham & Gloucester Trophy. Saqlain, 29, was confirmed as the first of two overseas cricketers that Ireland plan on signing in the new league format of the one-day game in the United Kingdom.
Saqlain played 49 Tests and 169 one-day internationals for Pakistan, with 208 and 288 wickets respectively. The fastest bowler to reach 100 wickets in one-day cricket, Saqlain has been acknowledged as the first offspinner to master the doosra, the delivery that spins away from the right-handed batsman even though it is delivered with an offspinner's action. He also played for Surrey for eight seasons before a major knee surgery interrupted his run of success there.
A highlight of Saqlain's career was his ten-for against India at Chennai in 1998-99 when Pakistan claimed a 12-run win against their arch-rivals. He also claimed two hat-tricks in one-day cricket - both against Zimbabwe - and even hit a Test hundred against New Zealand at Christchuch in 2000/01.
He has since fallen out of favour with Pakistan's selectors, and in his last Test appearance in 2003/04 - against India, no less - he had the unflattering figures of 1 for 204.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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