Saqlain Mushtaq September 30, 2012

Getting to grips with the doosra

Interview by Jack Wilson
Saqlain Mushtaq learnt to bowl the other one with a table tennis ball, did you know?
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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.

First hat-trick
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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on October 2, 2012, 1:02 GMT

    If he had played till the age of 35-36 he would have been the bradman of bowlers.

  • Ajayvs on October 1, 2012, 22:03 GMT

    @Shubham Bajpai, obviously you have not seen him bowl, if you have then you will not make such silly comments. There used to be a time when Indians feared him more than the great W's Wasim and Waqar, that speaks volume of his talent. He was by no means a one series wonder like some of other mystery bowlers..

  • Syed_imran_abbas on October 1, 2012, 19:09 GMT

    I didnt like his introduction in his profile by saying perhaps he was first to master doosra. He was definatly first the inventer of dosra and master it too. Great service to cricket. He made spinners a formidable force for modern cricket where they can bowl at any stage of game with this huge variety.

  • on October 1, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    Downfall of his career was not due to selectors, rather it was due to his fitness as both of his knees were operated and he was not the same player as he used to be. He was also sacked from his county for the given reason. But what a bowler he was

  • rovar on October 1, 2012, 7:29 GMT

    What a bowler he was ? Curious to know y he was discarded so early ? What a waste of talet it was ? Ajmal & all the other current offies are not even half as good as he was. Who can forget that murmer of Moin Khan behind the wicket "Well bowl saki".

  • LillianThomson on October 1, 2012, 2:06 GMT

    For those of you who haven't understood my point about a left-arm fast bowler, I'll go into more detail. When a left-arm quick bowler bowls over the wicket he ends up having to veer away from the stumps in his delivery stride and creates a line of rough around 4-12 inches outside the off-stump of the right-handed batsman who will face at that end in the next over. In Test cricket this is precisely where an off-spinner will aim, whether he has a doosra or not, because he needs to bring the batsman forward to play a ball which might turn in towards off-stump. A conventional off-spinner's arm-ball might go straight and be edged to the keeper, while a doosra might be edged to slip. I learned this from watching Saqlain in the nets at Brisbane in 1999: he practised by aiming at a stump placed on the ground in front of the crease. I'm not belittling the ability of the great offies: assistance from footmarks is no less legitimate than a fast bowler using the moisture on day one.

  • on October 1, 2012, 1:18 GMT

    Cricket is an absolutely equal game. The fast bowler holds the seam of the ball, on the seam, so his grip is uncertain. The spin bowler holds the ball with a small part of his fingers. and his grip is better. Apparently, the fast bowler couldn't have spun the ball, if he doesn't bowl slow, and if he doesn't hold the ball like the spinner. The spin bowler is somehow perceived to be more predictable, because of slow speed, and batsmen wait for the ball to spin, and actually want the delivery to spin in a manner they don't expect. I used to play cricket with my father. it seems, he bowled a bit like Kumble. The delivery was fast in the air, but when it pitched, it did anything. It actually did the same thing, but if it pitches in different regions, and if the delivery is faster after it pitches, much faster, and if the speed after it pitches is not the same, then one can see problems. I wanted to see the delivery doing the unexpected, and to do what I had to.

  • on October 1, 2012, 1:11 GMT

    He was a true legend.I remember watching one of the test matches and Saqulain bowling a doosra which spinned more that a traditional leg spinner spinning it.It was a pity how pakistan selectors managed him in the latter part of his career.

  • Vishal_07 on October 1, 2012, 0:12 GMT

    Could have been the World's best bowler ever if Pakistan's board had not shut down his career. I believe he is the only spinner who troubled India in India.

  • on September 30, 2012, 22:35 GMT

    An absolute legend of the game!

  • on October 2, 2012, 1:02 GMT

    If he had played till the age of 35-36 he would have been the bradman of bowlers.

  • Ajayvs on October 1, 2012, 22:03 GMT

    @Shubham Bajpai, obviously you have not seen him bowl, if you have then you will not make such silly comments. There used to be a time when Indians feared him more than the great W's Wasim and Waqar, that speaks volume of his talent. He was by no means a one series wonder like some of other mystery bowlers..

  • Syed_imran_abbas on October 1, 2012, 19:09 GMT

    I didnt like his introduction in his profile by saying perhaps he was first to master doosra. He was definatly first the inventer of dosra and master it too. Great service to cricket. He made spinners a formidable force for modern cricket where they can bowl at any stage of game with this huge variety.

  • on October 1, 2012, 9:52 GMT

    Downfall of his career was not due to selectors, rather it was due to his fitness as both of his knees were operated and he was not the same player as he used to be. He was also sacked from his county for the given reason. But what a bowler he was

  • rovar on October 1, 2012, 7:29 GMT

    What a bowler he was ? Curious to know y he was discarded so early ? What a waste of talet it was ? Ajmal & all the other current offies are not even half as good as he was. Who can forget that murmer of Moin Khan behind the wicket "Well bowl saki".

  • LillianThomson on October 1, 2012, 2:06 GMT

    For those of you who haven't understood my point about a left-arm fast bowler, I'll go into more detail. When a left-arm quick bowler bowls over the wicket he ends up having to veer away from the stumps in his delivery stride and creates a line of rough around 4-12 inches outside the off-stump of the right-handed batsman who will face at that end in the next over. In Test cricket this is precisely where an off-spinner will aim, whether he has a doosra or not, because he needs to bring the batsman forward to play a ball which might turn in towards off-stump. A conventional off-spinner's arm-ball might go straight and be edged to the keeper, while a doosra might be edged to slip. I learned this from watching Saqlain in the nets at Brisbane in 1999: he practised by aiming at a stump placed on the ground in front of the crease. I'm not belittling the ability of the great offies: assistance from footmarks is no less legitimate than a fast bowler using the moisture on day one.

  • on October 1, 2012, 1:18 GMT

    Cricket is an absolutely equal game. The fast bowler holds the seam of the ball, on the seam, so his grip is uncertain. The spin bowler holds the ball with a small part of his fingers. and his grip is better. Apparently, the fast bowler couldn't have spun the ball, if he doesn't bowl slow, and if he doesn't hold the ball like the spinner. The spin bowler is somehow perceived to be more predictable, because of slow speed, and batsmen wait for the ball to spin, and actually want the delivery to spin in a manner they don't expect. I used to play cricket with my father. it seems, he bowled a bit like Kumble. The delivery was fast in the air, but when it pitched, it did anything. It actually did the same thing, but if it pitches in different regions, and if the delivery is faster after it pitches, much faster, and if the speed after it pitches is not the same, then one can see problems. I wanted to see the delivery doing the unexpected, and to do what I had to.

  • on October 1, 2012, 1:11 GMT

    He was a true legend.I remember watching one of the test matches and Saqulain bowling a doosra which spinned more that a traditional leg spinner spinning it.It was a pity how pakistan selectors managed him in the latter part of his career.

  • Vishal_07 on October 1, 2012, 0:12 GMT

    Could have been the World's best bowler ever if Pakistan's board had not shut down his career. I believe he is the only spinner who troubled India in India.

  • on September 30, 2012, 22:35 GMT

    An absolute legend of the game!

  • on September 30, 2012, 21:59 GMT

    He was one the best. It's a shame that Pakistan Cricket didn't get more out of him. What's even shocking is that around 2002-03 they started dropping him favour of the "all-rounder" Shoaib Malik. Can you imagine Australia dropping Shane Warne or Sri Lanka sacking Muralitharan for an "all-rounder"?

    He was the inventor of "doosra". Sadly the snobbish agents of modern cricket credited the innovation to other great bowlers.

    @Azfar @Cricinfo: Thanks for the acknowledgement.

  • on September 30, 2012, 18:38 GMT

    he was always my trump card while playing cards for his average...just relishing those moments now..he is a genius..

  • on September 30, 2012, 17:41 GMT

    One of the greatest offspinner to watch of his time. Had he been in the same form, he would have been next to Muralitharan or even equal to him. Sad to see his career being drowned so early after promising 4 initial years of his career.

  • Team_Eleven on September 30, 2012, 16:39 GMT

    Moin Khan shouting "Come on Saqqi" will come to mind when I see Saqlain. India's matches with Pakistan in 90s are the best. Even when India was losing almost consistently, still remember them fondly. When we were in college and playing Cricket a good fielding is appreciated by calling 'Come on Jonty' and likewise a good spinning delivery by a bowler will be with a 'Come on Saqqi'.

  • on September 30, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    saqlain is an absolute champion. it is a pity his form took a dive after 2000 but still, phenomenal ODI record. 288 wickets at an average of 21 is simply incredible.

  • Migara on September 30, 2012, 15:12 GMT

    @LillianThomson: Very good observation. So Warne must have benefited hugely from those tall right arm bowlers Aussies had, where they created rough in the pitching area of a leg break

  • FRRR on September 30, 2012, 14:55 GMT

    Saqlain was a legend of Pakistani bowling. His "Dosra" made it possible for many spinners to become strike bowlers. When we see today Ajmal, mendis bowling last overs and winning matches, this trend was started by saqlain. He will always be remembered as a person who introduced something new in the game.

  • Wasman on September 30, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    Great bowler sadly for very short span of time, amazing talent

  • JBerger on September 30, 2012, 13:01 GMT

    @AlbertEinstein and LillianThomson: It must have taken quite some pondering for you two to come up with that conclusion. Sorry to break you the fact that, Saqi was a right arm off-spinner and hence his pitching area for the Doosras was always out of the range of foot holes of left arm seamers (if there were any) now if he was a left arm leg-spinner bowling a googly then your so ill-perceived theory could have had some weight only if he had bowled around the wicket all his career.

    IMHO, give credit and respect where it's due, after all the guy was a genius to invent the Doosra.

  • on September 30, 2012, 12:29 GMT

    The seam of the cricket ball is what is gripped, and this is the main problem with the ball. The more pronounced the seam, the chances are more of it slipping out of the hand. Perhaps that is why the Kookaburra has a less pronounced seam, as envisioned by the maker. When the ball is supposed to be wet, in the rain, the fingers do not grip the seam. The seam seems to be the most slippery part of the ball.

  • supporter_of_minnows on September 30, 2012, 11:25 GMT

    BD is pleased to have a saqlain as our spin coach.. hope our players leaarn to bowl doosra from him :)

  • on September 30, 2012, 11:14 GMT

    I am not sure what kind of balls (doosra) he is bowling, but he is amazingly smart cricketer. I used to see only fast bowlers bowl to the tail enders as they used to swing at every thing and teams find risky to use spinners. But that trend was changed by saqlain. I hated him as an indian because he used to change the course of the match, at the same time i admire him so much for his brilliance. I see shane and murali as spinners but saqlain is a smart thinking cricketer with a smile on his face. He is a legend.

  • Pathiyal on September 30, 2012, 11:13 GMT

    yeah, may he he had a short span compared to many, but he made a mark by inventing and leaving something to the cricket world - the doosra. i personally loved watching this guy bowled.

  • on September 30, 2012, 11:06 GMT

    Huge fan I am an Indian! Was a delight to watch.....shame none of the current crop of spinners even come close to his class.

  • Lahori92 on September 30, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    sharbigma it was injuries that ended his wonderful career

  • ejsiddiqui on September 30, 2012, 10:32 GMT

    Saqlain was a great bowler, I rate him higher than Shane Warne and Murli. He used to take more wickets than other two when all of three were playing. Saqlain was the bowler who used to bowl last over of ODIs in the presence of Two Ws Is't it amazing?.

  • Jaffa79 on September 30, 2012, 10:28 GMT

    A fantastic bowler for Pakistan and Surrey! It is just so strange how he disappeared from cricket so quickly. The inventor of the doosra and one of the only people to bowl it without throwing it.

  • Lahori92 on September 30, 2012, 10:24 GMT

    shubham bajpai you are talking load of nonsense, didnt you get your dall today or something? saqi was the quickest to 100 wickets in odi's has the best average any indian would burn for. name a spin bowler or any fast bowler who had an average as good as saqi? so according to your poor know how he was a an average cricketer was he? it was injuries that ruined his career. whats bhajis and kumbles averages are like or ashwins your so called best spinner?

  • umarkhateeb on September 30, 2012, 10:10 GMT

    No doubt saqlain was a world class off spinner. He was inventor of doosra.

  • AlbertEinstein on September 30, 2012, 10:08 GMT

    @LillianThomson: I am very impressed by your observation. It surely must be making a massive difference.

  • doosra_inventer on September 30, 2012, 9:41 GMT

    Only few cricketers have Invented something...he has the honor of being the inventor of Doosra

  • loveupak on September 30, 2012, 9:29 GMT

    to have a bowling avg of 21.78 in odis, being an of spinner is nothing short of excellence...name any other spinner with a better bowling avg than him in odis!

  • on September 30, 2012, 9:27 GMT

    @ Shubham Bajpai haters wont stop hating. Even they deny the legacy of such players just because they cant find such talent. India has been struggling with the spin and fast bowling for years and cannot produce world class bowlers, yet they have the best batsmen in their bag. Sachin is a legend and we wont be able to see another sachin for almost 10 decades. But try to accept the legacy of these legends. Your BHAJJI cant bowl doosra and so is ashwin. Saqi is the inventor of doosra and probably the best spinner of his time. He took away that Chennai test almost from nowhere remember?

  • vick122 on September 30, 2012, 9:19 GMT

    @shubham- u r funny aint u? u think this guy was an ordinary spinner like a mendis and harbhajan singh..i think u have conveniently forgotten tht he still holds the record of being the quickest(in terms of matches) to reach to 100 and 200 odi wickets.. he is the same guy who picked up 2 consecutive 10 wicket hauls against the best players of spin in the world i.e. India in their own backyard..

    havent it been for the stupid policies of the pcb he wud have played 100 test matches and 300 odis. pcb have done their best to kill the careers of many a talented cricketers like azhar mahmood,mohd wasim,abdul razzak etc.. well done pcb everyones proud of u..

  • on September 30, 2012, 9:18 GMT

    He was exceptional. It is evident from his stats as well.

  • Cricinfo-Editorial on September 30, 2012, 9:15 GMT

    Saqlain got a hat-trick before the World Cup 1999 one he mentioned in this piece. Thanks to Josh Maddy and Mazher Arshad for pointing it out to us.

  • Biggus on September 30, 2012, 9:10 GMT

    Always loved watching him bowl and missed him when he was gone. What else can one say about such a great bowler, but at least we can watch Ajmal to make up for it a little. Both great bowlers and a treat to watch in action. There's a series at the moment here at cricinfo about the greatest sights in cricket....well my vote goes to watching a great spinner perform. Just love it, chess on a nice green field.

  • on September 30, 2012, 9:09 GMT

    @Shubham Bajpai saqlain got 288 ODI wickets & your so called below average harbjhan yet to get 288 wickets, even not zaheer, saqlain maitain the avg of 21 even for 288 wickets, how many from india got more than 288 wickts, your so called below avg bowler are never batter than jaques kallis both in term of bowling avg and stats. so dont say ajmal is not the best in world, as he debut after 30. :P

  • on September 30, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    one of the first attacking spinner who would bowl the last over to contain or to take wickets, and he did it magnificently. true legend! shame one bad match ruined his career.

  • LillianThomson on September 30, 2012, 8:23 GMT

    The criticisms here completely miss the point. Saqlain (and Murali and Harbhajan) were always dependent in Test cricket upon bowling into the rough created by a burly left-arm fast bowler's follow-through. When Saqlain lost Wasim Akram, he was vastly diminished, as was Murali without Vaas and Harbhajan after Zaheer gave up on having any sort of follow-through. This doesn't erode from the skill of any of those bowlers - it just shows that on modern flat wickets an off-spinner is redundant until Day 4 unless a left-arm quick has given him something to work with. It's going to make Saeed Ajmal completely reliant upon Junaid Khan in the Tests coming up in South Africa, and given that Hafeez is another key bowler for Pakistan it might even be worthwhile for them to use Sohail Tanvir as their third seamer to help to break down the wicket quicker to aid Ajmal - especially as all the South African bowlers are right-armers.

  • on September 30, 2012, 8:22 GMT

    @JoshMaddy..well done....bro....thats i keen observation..

  • pitch_curator on September 30, 2012, 8:20 GMT

    @ Hawkseyefocused - How did BCCI stop Pakistan from winning world cup or winning test matches outside sub continent. Your very talented team can not bat out a couple of sessions against a decent fast bowling attack outside the sub continent and you are blaming the BCCI for it?? Pathetic.

  • adnan_rifat84 on September 30, 2012, 8:05 GMT

    @Shabnum: Dear you have mentioned only that Saqi have played 49 matches but didn't mention that he took 208 wickets in only those 49 matches with average of 29.83 which is much better than many Indian bowlers, and it's cricket where any day any batsman can do any thing same as any bowler can do any thing, I don't know why guys like you feel jealous for admitting some one's talent who invented the DOOSRA. Show some respect for legends weather they belong to any country. Sehwag hit him hard because that was Sehwag's day not Saqlain's.. and its not PCB who not selected him again its our cricket's dirty politics which have crushed many lovely players career.

  • hammadfayyaz on September 30, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    @ shubham Bajpai: Saqlain got his knees operated twice and the operations were not as successful as they were in case of Shoaib Akhter. Once your knees got operated, your atheleticism reduces miles (just like a speed driver might not drive as fast after an accident.) Jason Gillespie might be another example. Jansher Khan (another legendary paki squash player) career was also halted due to knee surgeries. Saqlain was the first spinner to bowl in depth overs in ODI's and always used to prove eco. Thar 200 conceded innings you are mentioning, well if you drop 5-6 catches of a batsman, he is bound to hurt you like this. It was our fault to drop him, no complains! He could be far more potent had he remain fit and healthy. Pakistan has got best talent but our talent also rusts fast. Mohammad Zahid was far quicker than Shoaib, but faced severe back problems repeatedly. That's life mate!!

  • Nutcutlet on September 30, 2012, 7:52 GMT

    I do get a little weary of all this mystery spinner talk, as if it was something that never existed before Saqlain & co.. I'd ask all those who require conclusive proof that the varied front-of hand delivery in all its guises (the off break, leg break & googly) was used in Test cricket over 60 years ago by Victorian player Jack Iverson (1915 -73) refer to the details of JI's brief but successful Test career. And how did Iverson learn to master his baffling range of delivery? With a ping-pong ball, while he was passing the time in New Guinea bush during World War II! Unfortunately, Jack was 35 when he played his only Test series v England in 1950-1 (21 wickets @15). This does not detract from the expertise that Saqlain demonstrated, nor does it take reduce the merit of his outstanding success, but it does make demonstrably clear that he was no innovator.

  • rkot0208 on September 30, 2012, 7:52 GMT

    Just curious, not trying to troll or anything .... Does anyone know if saqlain was ever suspected of bending his elbow when delivering the doosra?

  • on September 30, 2012, 7:49 GMT

    The Scientist!!! The Inventor.

  • on September 30, 2012, 7:01 GMT

    Shubham Bajpai: It is about his talent. Mendis didn't create a bowling style now did he? He is a great and talented spinner. It is unfortunate that he didn't continue his career longer than he did.

  • CorneredTiger84 on September 30, 2012, 6:52 GMT

    @Shubham Bajpai you need to look at his stats mate...288 wickets in odi wit an average of 21 in 165 innings...are you kidding me...go and watch Kumble deliver those medium pace bowls and call him a legend

  • Sharbigma on September 30, 2012, 6:41 GMT

    The best spinner i have ever seen, I don't know what or who caused his career to end so prematurely, was it Tauqeer Zia the famous compeller for retirement, or we're his own choices the cause, choosing county over international cricket.

  • Tahir_Anjum on September 30, 2012, 6:36 GMT

    good work there Jack.great spinner and great human being. Won many matches single handedly for Pakistan. The inventor of Doosra. One of my favorite cricket players. plz publish

  • Hommi on September 30, 2012, 6:35 GMT

    no comments ehh... people too busy babbling about T20 that they don't notice such good topics..

  • Game_Gazer on September 30, 2012, 6:31 GMT

    Legend, at his peak, probably was even better than Warne in terms of out-thinking batsmen... What is it with bowlers from Pakistan possessing a natural bowling intelligence & common sense..!! I mean, they just knew/know what delivery to bowl next up !

  • Baber_Baloch on September 30, 2012, 6:28 GMT

    he is grae legend of Pakistan

  • Just_Love_Cricket on September 30, 2012, 5:40 GMT

    A true legend. He should have played a lot more matches for Pakistan.

  • on September 30, 2012, 5:39 GMT

    Not to mention; he is probably the the FIRST PLAYER who was thought to be the best spinner ever (LOL) to have his career ended before he turned 28 and not even 50 tests. Also the First player to concede over 200 runs (more than once) in a single innings of a test match. He obviously was not very good (and yes i have watched him play and he wasnt that great), he should be thankful to PCB that he wasnt given any more chances or his average would have taken a beating. i dont understand why so much space and time is given to a failed cricketer, according to these standards if ajantha mendis quit after his debut india series, he would now be remembered as the best spinner ever right?? give me a break!!! and find someone useful to write about!!

  • OptimusPrimal on September 30, 2012, 5:35 GMT

    A great asset to Pakistan and one of our best ambassadors. A phenomenal bowler of his time, Saqlain Mushtaq's magic mesmerized us all. It was unfortunate to see so little of him at international stage as a player, but it is great to see him coaching international teams. Wish you all the best in your endeavors. What you did for Pakistan in January of 1999 in Chennai will never be forgotten.

  • Tahir_Anjum on September 30, 2012, 5:33 GMT

    A great spinner and very humble human being. Inventor of doosra. a master class spinner.even warne called him great spinner than any one else.

  • HawksEyeFocused on September 30, 2012, 5:16 GMT

    Wow!!! What a master-blaster bowler he was!!!I always get surprised when I see talented Pakistanis!!! Pakistan is brimmed with talent and skill!!! Compared to other sub-continent countries,Pakistan is miles ahead as far as talent is concerned. Pakistan would have progressed more and there might be international cricket played now had the financial muscles of the neighbouring country's board hadn't politicized the situation!!!

  • Syed_imran_abbas on September 30, 2012, 4:50 GMT

    Great Off spinner. He was amazing to watch. Pakistan must preserve their spin and fast bowling talent. They should Open a spin acadmey naming Dosra and a fast bowling acadmey naming 2W's or Reverse Swing. And get these guys (legends) to polish young talent.

  • on September 30, 2012, 4:49 GMT

    He is wrong about his first hat-trickt. The hat-trick in the 1999 world cup was in fact his second hat-trick. His first hat-trick had come in 1996 at Peshawar against the same same. Here's are the proofs:

    1) List of hat-tricks http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/263626.html

    2) His first hat-trick http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/64529.html

  • Chirs-Cry on September 30, 2012, 4:09 GMT

    Probably the greatest off-spinner of his time. Even better than Murali at that time.

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  • Chirs-Cry on September 30, 2012, 4:09 GMT

    Probably the greatest off-spinner of his time. Even better than Murali at that time.

  • on September 30, 2012, 4:49 GMT

    He is wrong about his first hat-trickt. The hat-trick in the 1999 world cup was in fact his second hat-trick. His first hat-trick had come in 1996 at Peshawar against the same same. Here's are the proofs:

    1) List of hat-tricks http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/263626.html

    2) His first hat-trick http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/64529.html

  • Syed_imran_abbas on September 30, 2012, 4:50 GMT

    Great Off spinner. He was amazing to watch. Pakistan must preserve their spin and fast bowling talent. They should Open a spin acadmey naming Dosra and a fast bowling acadmey naming 2W's or Reverse Swing. And get these guys (legends) to polish young talent.

  • HawksEyeFocused on September 30, 2012, 5:16 GMT

    Wow!!! What a master-blaster bowler he was!!!I always get surprised when I see talented Pakistanis!!! Pakistan is brimmed with talent and skill!!! Compared to other sub-continent countries,Pakistan is miles ahead as far as talent is concerned. Pakistan would have progressed more and there might be international cricket played now had the financial muscles of the neighbouring country's board hadn't politicized the situation!!!

  • Tahir_Anjum on September 30, 2012, 5:33 GMT

    A great spinner and very humble human being. Inventor of doosra. a master class spinner.even warne called him great spinner than any one else.

  • OptimusPrimal on September 30, 2012, 5:35 GMT

    A great asset to Pakistan and one of our best ambassadors. A phenomenal bowler of his time, Saqlain Mushtaq's magic mesmerized us all. It was unfortunate to see so little of him at international stage as a player, but it is great to see him coaching international teams. Wish you all the best in your endeavors. What you did for Pakistan in January of 1999 in Chennai will never be forgotten.

  • on September 30, 2012, 5:39 GMT

    Not to mention; he is probably the the FIRST PLAYER who was thought to be the best spinner ever (LOL) to have his career ended before he turned 28 and not even 50 tests. Also the First player to concede over 200 runs (more than once) in a single innings of a test match. He obviously was not very good (and yes i have watched him play and he wasnt that great), he should be thankful to PCB that he wasnt given any more chances or his average would have taken a beating. i dont understand why so much space and time is given to a failed cricketer, according to these standards if ajantha mendis quit after his debut india series, he would now be remembered as the best spinner ever right?? give me a break!!! and find someone useful to write about!!

  • Just_Love_Cricket on September 30, 2012, 5:40 GMT

    A true legend. He should have played a lot more matches for Pakistan.

  • Baber_Baloch on September 30, 2012, 6:28 GMT

    he is grae legend of Pakistan

  • Game_Gazer on September 30, 2012, 6:31 GMT

    Legend, at his peak, probably was even better than Warne in terms of out-thinking batsmen... What is it with bowlers from Pakistan possessing a natural bowling intelligence & common sense..!! I mean, they just knew/know what delivery to bowl next up !