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WI my team now, says Saqlain

Sunil Narine

Dhaka: Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq, who is now an assistant coach of the West Indies, may face a dilemma when his country Pakistan take on the West Indies in the World T20 match on Tuesday. But the former spin ace said that the West Indian logo was not just on his shirt, but actually in his heart.

Helping the West Indies spinners in honing their skills, he says that, now, the West Indies are his team.

Ahead of the crucial match, Saqlain said: “From a religious point of view, I can’t predict anything… who will win tomorrow or what will happen tomorrow. But, we can say that the team that will play well will win. You can’t predict anything. Obviously, my wishes are with my team and my team is the West Indies. From a religious point of view this is a part of my faith and belief. I have to be honest. I will be honest.

He said he wears the West Indies logo on his heart and hopes his team makes it to the semi-final on Tuesday.

Saqlain, who had also been a part of the Bangladesh coaching staff, stressed that he had to be honest to his job at hand.

Saqlain maintained that it was a privilege to work with the West Indies team. “It is a great opportunity and an honour for me to work with such a great team. As a child I used to admire them because of such great players like Sir Garfield Sobers and Sir Vivian Richards,” he said.

“I am working for them now and I felt the same pride that I felt working for Bangladesh. As I said, I have to honest… this logo (WICB) should not only be on the body, but also in my heart. That’s the faith of a Muslim.”

Saqlain, credited with the introduction of the ‘doosra’ to world cricket, said that with the evolution of technology anyone can follow the actions of any cricketer. Asked if he gave tips to the West Indians about how to play Saeed Ajmal, he said: “If they want to ask me, I obviously speak about him. That is my job. But with technology, anyone can see what he does and how he bowls.”

Asked about the legality of the doosra, he said: “To be honest, I never think in that way. I always feel proud that someone is using the ‘doosra’ or the ‘carrom ball’. If anything new comes into the world of cricket, I feel good. And I always appreciate and admire that.

“It is the ICC’s duty to check the legality of it. If they say it is good, then we should appreciate that. There should be no more question marks.

“I thank God that when they mention the ‘doosra’ then my name comes up with it. God gave me that honour… People putting a question mark over wearing full sleeve shirts... well I never think in that way,” he said.