New Zealand Cricket appoints Saqlain Mushtaq as spin consultant

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Wellington, Aug. 9 (ANI): Former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq has been appointed as spin consultant for New Zealand Cricket (NZC) for the next 12 months.

Saqlain's first assignment will be New Zealand's six-week tour of Sri Lanka.

"NZC has an agreement with Saqlain Mushtaq who will work with the Black Caps over the next 12 months," the Daily Times quoted Stephen Hill, as saying.

"His experience as a spin bowler is considered to be of significant assistance. He will be working with both our bowlers and batsmen, usually for a few days at a time during the team's international series over that period," Hill added.

Saqlain initially worked with the team at a training session in Derby, during the ICC Twenty20 World Cup, helping the team in preparation for its league game against Sri Lanka.

"He (New Zealand coach Andy Moles) wanted me to help the batsmen play spinners like Muttiah Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis," Saqlain told a website in London, before taking off to Sri Lanka.

He also had a chat with Daniel Vettori and the other spinners on spin bowling, and discussed the thought process and preparation a spinner goes through.

Saqlain played his last Test for Pakistan in 2004, and was pushed out of contention once the selectors favoured the all-round skills of Shoaib Malik.

He said the main reason he was brought on board was to help New Zealand counter the danger posed by Muralitharan and Mendis.

"I watched the New Zealand batsmen in the nets and told them where exactly they committed the mistake. They were not picking the ball at the point of release.

"So I bowled them some doosras and asked to watch my hand while I bowled with tennis balls to make them understand how the ball would behave if someone like Mendis bowled it."

Saqlain plans to bolster the New Zealand spin attack since he believes slow bowlers will be a dominant force on the slower and flatter pitches in Sri Lanka. (ANI)

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