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“There’s a rich history in the West Indies for spin”
Just a few days into his coaching clinic for spinners in the Caribbean, former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq believes the West Indies should consider themselves lucky to have so many talented spinners.
Mushtaq is working alongside both male and female spinners and has been extremely impressed with what he has witnessed so far.
“There are some talented youngsters,” Mushtaq said. “They are passionate and it’s showing and it’s showing in this camp.
“I’m working on techniques and their tactical approach also. We’re also touching on the physical aspects of spinners and how fit they should be. They need to know how they should look after their fingers. I am eager to pass on my knowledge and experience.
“There’s a rich history in the West Indies for spin. People often think it’s just only pace. Lance Gibbs was the first spinner to take 300 wickets. He put the seed of spin in. Sonny Ramadhin is another. Obviously, fast bowling took over but the region at present has good leggies, offies and doosra bowlers also.”
Mushtaq added there was no doubt in his mind that Sunil Narine would be the West Indies’ spearhead spinner for many years to come.
“I always worked hard and tried to be different,” he added. “I am teaching these players this. Be different. I was learning from watching the likes of Wasim (Akram) and Imran (Khan). I was lucky to play for Pakistan. It helped me look at Abdul Qadir, who I developed a lot from.
“Bowlers like Muttiah Muralitharan and (Anil) Kumble also added a lot to my experience. I am hoping to impart such to the West Indies youngsters.”
Among all the spinners he coached, Mushtaq pinpointed Devendra Bishoo, Shane Shillingford and Veerasammy Permaul as the ones with the most talent.
The 36-year-old also revealed that he had been approached and asked to conduct the clinic by West Indies coach Ottis Gibson after the West Indies triumphed in the 2012 World Twenty20.
“I jumped at the chance to offer my expertise,” Mushtaq said. “West Indies is a big part of world cricket. My good friend Mushtaq Ahmed helped England improve to a cricketing giant once more and I’d like to do the same with my knowledge.”