Pakistan domestic news October 26, 2009

Tariq Mahmood bounces back after chucking cloud

Cricinfo staff

Tariq Mahmood , the former Pakistan Under-19 offspinner who was in the news nearly three years ago due to a suspect bowling action, has said he is relieved to be playing competitive cricket on a regular basis after making the move from Sialkot to Khan Research Laboratories (KRL).

Mahmood is nicknamed "Murali" is Pakistan cricket circles with an action very similar to Sri Lanka's Muttiah Muralitharan, who himself has had his action scrutinised several times in his career.

"My bowling action was cleared and is still very much like Murali's," Mahmood told "It's just great to be playing again. The KRL boys have really made me feel welcome, they are a great set of lads and Mohammad Wasim is a very supportive captain who is really backing me. KRL have given me a one-year contract and I intend to give 200% effort to their cause."

Mahmood was part of Pakistan's U-19 World Cup-winning squad in Bangladesh in 2004. His action was reported two years later, after which he was sent to the National Cricket Academy in Lahore for remedial work with 14 other bowlers. He did not get enough opportunities with Sialkot in the first-class circuit, but his domestic career received a timely boost when KRL came calling.

"I was playing only the occasional match for Sialkot, they would play me in a match occasionally, and then I wouldn't play another game for several weeks," Mahmood said. "Any cricketer will tell you that there is nothing better than playing regular cricket. I felt that the time was now right to move on and take up a new challenge, as I was left playing club cricket for FSC club most of the time, rather than playing first-class cricket.

"I received a phone call out of the blue from KRL medium-pace bowler Jaffar Nazir asking me if I was available to play for KRL, as they had lost the services of offspinner Saeed Ajmal to ZTBL (Zarai Tarqiati Bank Limited). I couldn't say yes quick enough and I couldn't wait to join up with my new team-mates."

Mahmood took 3 for 45 in KRL's innings victory against Karachi Whites at the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy match at the National Stadium which concluded on Saturday.