BIRMINGHAM: Former off-spin great Saqlain Mushtaq has revealed that legendary late Abdul Qadir had great influence upon his career stating that right from his childhood he was inspired from the leg-spin wizard.
“That legend is no more with us, but his legacy, his performances, his legacy and his magic will stay with us forever,” Saqlain said while paying homage to Abdul Qadir on his YouTube channel.
“He was my hero. I used to watch him in my dreams. There were many secrets hidden in his run-up, in his style and way of bowling. But you need an eye to watch all that.”
Saqlain said Abdul Qadir was an attacking bowler, who used to dominate, control, squeeze and pressurize the batsmen. “He was such a magician to whom [while facing] a batsman would lose his mind. His action was charismatic and it was difficult to pick him from his hand,” he said.
He said he asked several batsmen, who had been facing Abdul Qadir, either in first class cricket or at the international level and they all told him that they had never been able to judge Qadir’s bowling from his hand.
The erstwhile off-spin great said, he used to go to Qadir’s club with the intent to watch him bowling there. “During that time, he was known as a magician. I heard people saying that it is not possible to gauge his googly and flipper. And that he bowls top sin and leg-spin with such a skill that it confuses the batsmen.
“At that time, I used to pray to Allah to also grant me such a unique art. I wished people should also say about me that the he has a unique art and delivers great spin bowling.The inventor of doosra delivery in off-spin bowling said that Qadir had a great influence in the development of this unique art [doosra]. He said he grew listening about Abdul Qadir’s bowling and dreamed to excel like him in the world of cricket.
“I’ll give lot of credit to Sir Abdul Qadir. His style compelled my mind to think [differently].
Saqlain recalled that at the outset of his international career Qadir came to the Qaddafi Stadium Lahore only to meet him. “He came there and asked me, kid come here. He give me a tight hug and said he was enjoying to watch me bowling. It was before our team’s visit to India in 1999.”
According to Saqlain, Qadir told him at that time that so far no one was able to read his doosra, but he told him that trajectory of his off-spin was slightly different from that of his off-spin. He said Qadir said that his doosra was more flighted as compared to his stock ball, which would help batsmen differentiate between the two in the long run. “He gave me the tip to mix these, either by giving more loop to your off-spin or by lowering your doosra’s trajectory. And before giving to India I worked on that and got a huge success,” he recalled.