World Cup: England calls up Saqlain Mushtaq to help out spinners

The former Pakistan bowler had served as England's spin bowling consultant until his two-year contract expired earlier this year. His presence is likely to help English spinners, Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid.

Mushtaq

England players Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali with the England team's spin consultant Saqlain Mushtaq in 2016. Mushtaq has been called up to help the spin department ahead of the World Cup.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

England has called up former Pakistan spinner, Saqlain Mushtaq, to help out the spinners during the World Cup.

Saqlain had earlier served as the spin bowling consultant for the England team, but his two-year contract got over earlier this year. The spin ace, who is currently in Pakistan, was contacted by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) recently.

“I got a call from the ECB last week, requesting me to join the team during the World Cup and help out the spinners during the tournament,” Saqlain told Sportstar late on Wednesday.

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“I have worked with the team in the past and know all the players. World Cup being a big tournament, I will try and help them as much as I can,” Saqlain said.

He is scheduled to join the team on May 30, the day England begins its World Cup campaign against Australia.

It has been learned that the assignment will be for nearly a couple of weeks, wherein Saqlain will work with the England spinners ‘as and when’ required.

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The 42-year-old, who featured in 49 Tests and 169 ODIs for Pakistan, played a key role in the England set up, helping the spinners - Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid - fare well in the successful tours of India and Bangladesh in 2016-2017.

With the two spinners heaping praises on him, the ECB had roped him as the spin bowling consultant in 2017 and during his stint, he helped the spinners improve on their skills.

While the fast bowlers will have a key role in this edition of the World Cup, the presence of Saqlain will certainly help England spinners, Moeen and Rashid.