|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
Netherlands captain Peter Borren on his fictitious nicknames, beating England twice, and how he scares his neighbours
Rohit Sharma on his frustrating road back from injury, and the need for young cricketers to be disciplined
My Favourite Cricketer: Jack Russell brought a neatness to the keeper's art that was matched by his meticulous scruffiness in other regards. By Scott Oliver
Numbers Game: The rate at which he has accumulated ODI hundreds and MoM awards is among the fastest in history
Probably not as much as boring periods in the likes of rugby, football and tennis, Russell Jackson thinks
Also, most brothers in a Test XI, and the fastest to 20 ODI centuries
The offspinner was Australia's highest wicket-taker in 2013, but his form has dipped sharply this year