England hold talks with spin specialist Saqlain Mushtaq about consultancy

• Former Pakistan bowler may advise Bayliss’s team later in summer
• Saqlain’s appointment would aid Moeen Ali’s development as an all-rounder

Saqlain Mushtaq, the former Pakistan international, is understood to have been contacted by England as they look to bring in a spin-bowling consultant for the latter half of the summer.

Talks are continuing with the 39-year-old off-spinner, who took 208 wickets in 49 Tests between 1995 and 2004, over a short-term deal whereby he would join Trevor Bayliss’ side when Pakistan visit England as the second touring side this season.

Saqlain’s appointment would aid Moeen Ali’s development as a spin-bowling all-rounder at international level, even if home conditions will probably dictate a more seam-oriented attack than in the United Arab Emirates last year, which resulted in a 2-0 Test series defeat.

Both Moeen and the leg-spinner Adil Rashid, England’s current frontline pairing for turning pitches, struggled for impact during the Test leg of the tour last November, sharing 17 wickets across the three matches but both going at over four runs an over as Pakistan’s skilled batsmen milked their bowling.

As well as Moeen being able to mine the knowledge of one of the best finger spinners the sport has seen – Saqlain is credited with being one of the pioneers of the doosra delivery that turns away from the right-hander – England’s attack would also hope to pick his brains on ways to counter Misbah-ul-Haq’s batting line-up.

Moeen Ali
Moeen Ali would benefit from the appointment of Saqlain Musthaq, who is in talks with the ECB about a short-term consultancy role. Photograph: ProSports/Rex/Shutterstock

England face Pakistan over four Tests, starting at Lord’s on 14 July, before playing five one-day internationals and a one-off Twenty20. All three formats will be played under the umbrella of the “Super Series” points system that is currently being used to decide an overall winner for the early summer visit of Sri Lanka.

Were the deal to be agreed with Saqlain, he would follow in the footsteps of his former Pakistan team-mate Mushtaq Ahmed, who was England’s spin coach from 2008 to early 2014 in a six-year spell that coincided with Graeme Swann’s stellar international career.

England have not had a permanent first-team spin-bowling coach since Mushtaq’s departure but, with tours to Bangladesh and India coming up this winter, Andrew Strauss, their director of cricket, is keen to invest further in the team’s slow-bowling resources using his budget for coaching consultants.

Recent short-term appointments have included the former Sri Lanka batsman, Mahela Jayawardene, as a batting coach both in the UAE and at the World Twenty20 in India, the former England all-rounder Paul Collingwood in a fielding capacity and the current Glamorgan head coach and former off-spinner Robert Croft, who had 12 days with the team during their winter tour to South Africa.

Contributor

Exclusive by Ali Martin

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Saqlain Mushtaq agrees contract with England as spin-bowling consultant
Saqlain Mushtaq has verbally agreed a contract to join England’s coaching set-up as a consultant to their spin bowlers, with an expected 10-day spell in July

Ali Martin at Emirates Riverside

28, May, 2016 @3:37 PM

Article image
England set to rehire Saqlain Mushtaq as team’s spin-bowling consultant
The England head coach, Trevor Bayliss, intends to rehire Saqlain Mushtaq as the team’s spin-bowling consultant following positive feedback from Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid

Ali Martin

26, Jul, 2016 @5:00 PM

Article image
England in talks about first Pakistan tour since 2005
England are in discussions over a short tour of Pakistan in January – their first visit to the country since 2005 – as a show of gratitude for helping to rescue the recent international summer

Ali Martin

15, Oct, 2020 @7:29 PM

Article image
ICC warned England against appointing spin-bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed

Andy Flower, the England team director, gave his support to his spin-bowling coach, Mushtaq Ahmed

Staff and agencies

04, Sep, 2010 @1:06 AM

Article image
Saqlain Mushtaq makes his case to be England’s full-time spin-bowling coach
Saqlain Mushtaq has made a pitch for a full-time role to be created for him as England’s spin-bowling coach after four positive weeks with the side

Ali Martin in Mohali

25, Nov, 2016 @10:00 PM

Article image
Yasir Shah comes out of left field to put England in a spin against Pakistan
Yasir Shah was the unlikely hero for Pakistan as they made England toil on day two of the first Test at Lord’s, taking five for 64 with irresistible display of leg-spin

Mike Selvey at Lord's

15, Jul, 2016 @6:24 PM

Article image
Cricket: England hire spin king Mushtaq to weave his magic on Panesar

Mushtaq Ahmed gave up the chance to work with his native Test team Pakistan to become England's new spin coach

David Hopps

23, Oct, 2008 @11:01 PM

Article image
Yasir Shah exposes England’s lack of quality in the spin department | Vic Marks
The Pakistan slow bowler Yasir Shah took 10 wickets in the Test match at Lord’s and highlighted one of England’s significant weaknesses as they lost by 75 runs

Vic Marks at Lord's

17, Jul, 2016 @7:53 PM

Article image
Moeen Ali injury provides audition for Joe Denly’s leg spin against Pakistan
The England coach, Trevor Bayliss, said Moeen Ali has been rested as a precaution

Andy Bull

07, May, 2019 @5:36 PM

Article image
England focus on deciphering spin of Saeed Ajmal
England have been addressing the task of dealing with the challenging spin of Saeed Ajmal

Andy Wilson in Abu Dhabi

22, Jan, 2012 @10:01 PM