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January 30, 2009
Mushtaq Ahmed, England's spin-bowling coach, will extend his stint with the team and stay in the Caribbean until midway through the Test series against West Indies. Mushtaq was originally going to spend only the ten-day warm-up period in St Kitts with the team but the tour management has requested an extension.
"He's created a really good impression with the spin bowlers and indeed everybody on the tour," Hugh Morris, the managing director of England cricket, told the Guardian. "His experience and skill at international level have led us to the conclusion he would be valuable to have around for a longer period. We always suspected he would be an ideal person to help the spinners along."
Morris' view was endorsed by left-arm spinner Monty Panesar, with whom Mushtaq has been working. "It's been great having Mushtaq with us and I've really enjoyed both his company and the way he's been coaching us," Panesar said. "For me it has been a good experience so far - and it is great to see that he is going to be around for a few more weeks.
"He has been talking a lot to me about the artistry of spin bowling and the flow of bowling - which is less technical and more about getting a feel for what you're trying to do with the ball.
"He knows what that is all about, having been an international player - when to be patient and let the ball do the work for you and when to attack to make things happen. The way he explains things is very simple and straightforward and he uses his experience to get his point across."
The tour of the West Indies is Mushtaq's first official assignment as England's spin-bowling coach. He was due to be part of the India tour before Christmas, but problems with his work visa prevented him from joining the team.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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