Saqlain Mushtaq’s spin clinic was to help Devendra Bishoo get his international career back on track, reveals Ottis Gibson

Image courtesy of: Zimbio

Bishoo has struggled with his form and faced stiff competition from Narine and Shillingford since 2011

West Indies coach Ottis Gibson has revealed that one of the main aims of inviting former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq to hold a three-week spin clinic was to help spinner Devendra Bishoo get his international career back on track.

Bishoo was named as the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Emerging Player of the Year in 2011, but since then, he has lost his way due to a lack of form and some strong competition from fellow spinners Sunil Narine and Shane Shillingford.

“I have been saddened by the way things have gone for Bishoo,” Gibson said. “Having come into the West Indies team and become ICC Emerging Player of the Year to where he is right now, I strongly felt I needed to get someone over here to give him the support and the belief and I know he has been doing very well.

“Hopefully, this will be the spark that will get Bishoo back into the frame of mind which he had when he got into the West Indies team and did very well.”

Gibson also admitted that one of the weaknesses he immediately noticed with the West Indies squad when he joined as head coach was the diminishing number of quality spinners.

“One of the things that has disappointed me since I have been appointed West Indies head coach – and this is through no fault of anyone – is that the fast bowlers have had a lot of support and we had a fast bowling clinic – but we haven’t had any specialist training for spinners,” he said. “I may be a bowling coach, but Saqlain is an expert in spin bowling, and when I spoke to him about the opportunity to come across and pass on his knowledge – the way I have passed on to the fast bowlers what I learnt from someone like Malcolm Marshall – it was clear it was the right thing to do.

“For Saqlain to come and pass on the knowledge that he would have acquired from someone like, maybe, Abdul Qadir and other great spinners was an opportunity that I felt if I could make it happen, it would be something special for our players.

“I have been attending the clinic over the last few days and I have been in the sports hall and I have seen how the players are responding to him and I know that it has been something well worth doing.”

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