|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
Saqlain Mushtaq learnt to bowl the other one with a table tennis ball, did you know?
Interview by Jack Wilson
September 30, 2012
First time I realised I could bowl the doosra
I first worked out a way of bowling it when I was 13. I was playing with a table tennis ball on the roof of our house. The problem was, it was easy to get my fingers round the table tennis ball, but with a cricket ball I couldn't do it. I kept practising and practising and eventually moved from being able to bowl it with a table tennis ball to being able to bowl it with a tennis ball. Once I'd mastered bowling it with a tennis ball I moved on to a cricket ball.
First pair of cricket whites
All the kit I had when I was younger was my brother's, so it would have been a set of his. He was older than me, so I used to share all his gear - but it was all far too big for me.
First big cricket match
I played my first proper match with a hard ball when I was 12. I couldn't wait to play a real game, as cricket had been a massive part of my childhood. I got all my whites ready and laid out in the morning - I was looking forward to it so much.
First time you were called up by Pakistan
It was a dream come true. All the hard work I'd put in had paid off. It was a mixture of excitement and anticipation at the chance of following in the footsteps of some amazing players to represent my country. I was playing in Rawalpindi at the time and the squad had been announced on the radio. I hadn't heard it myself but someone came up to me and said I was in it. I couldn't believe it, but then I got a call from my manager confirming the news.
I bowled a lot of overs in youth cricket and club cricket but my first hat-trick didn't come until 1999* in the World Cup. We were playing Zimbabwe at The Oval and I managed to clean up the tail. I kept the ball from that game and I still have it in my hall.
*Saqlain got his first international hat-trick in 1996, also against Zimbabwe
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
|Comments have now been closed for this article
Modern Masters: Graeme Smith gave you the impression that he's not going to back down, whatever the contest
Ed Smith: Success, failure, innovation - they are all about our willingness to take risks and how we judge them
ESPNcricinfo XI: From Sheffield to Jalandhar, grounds that have hosted only one Test
Ian Chappell: Persisting with Cook as captain, and picking batsmen with limited techniques, will hurt them
Hassan Cheema: Cook and his boys seem to have fallen out of touch with the relentlessness that took them to No. 1
Ishant Sharma has often been the butt of jokes, and sometimes deservedly so. Today, however, the joke was on England
The leave outside off stump has been critical to M Vijay's success since his India comeback last year. Contrary to popular opinion, such patience and self-denial comes naturally to him
They have to see a glass that is half-full, and play the game as if it is just that, a game; and an opportunity
Only 15 times in Test history has a player achieved the double of 300 runs and 20 wickets in a Test series. Going on current form, Bhuvneshwar could well be the 16th
In India's win at Lord's, Ishant Sharma took the best bowling figures by an Indian in the fourth innings of a Test outside Asia. Here are five other best bowling efforts by Indians in the fourth innings of Tests outside Asia
India's wretched run away from home began at Lord's in 2011. A young team full of self-belief may have brought it to an end with their victory at the same venue three years later
What's wrong with their cricket? Well, what isn't?