England hire Saqlain for coaching stint

Legendary off-spinner to join Trevor Bayliss's staff ahead of Pakistan Test series

England will employ the coaching expertise of spin great Saqlain Mushtaq with an eye to their upcoming home series against Pakistan from next month.

Saqlain, widely credited as the inventor of the doosra and with 288 ODI and 208 Test wickets for Pakistan to his name, will take on the role for a brief time among other coaching and media commitments.

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"England have offered me the spin bowling consultancy and I have accepted but the deal is yet to be signed," Saqlain told ESPNCricinfo. "It might be a brief stint but I believe I can still make a difference. No time is too little. I will plan once we get there."

England take on Pakistan in four Tests, five ODIs and one T20, while before the year is out Alastair Cook's side will travel to the subcontinent for Test series against Bangladesh and India.

The last England team to travel to India boasted spin duo Graeme Swann and Monty Panesar, who played a decisive role in a landmark series victory, however last year's visit to the United Arab Emirates with current spin options Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid was not so successful, as hosts Pakistan prevailed 2-0.

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Speaking in February, Saqlain singled out Moeen alongside Australia's Nathan Lyon as off-spinners who still had much to do to prove themselves at international level, adding they were some distance off the quality of India's Ravi Ashwin.

"Nathan Lyon and Moeen Ali still need to prove themselves but Ashwin is a world-class bowler and is bowling superbly at the moment," Saqlain told reporters at the Asia Cup in Bangladesh.

"Ashwin has proved himself at Test level but the other two still need to do a bit more."

Saqlain has previously done remedial work with fellow Pakistani spinner Saeed Ajmal, whose international career was effectively ended by what the ICC deemed to be an illegal action, while  he has also worked with spinners from West Indies and Bangladesh.

The 39-year-old isn't the first Pakistani spinner to lend his services to England Cricket, with Mushtaq Ahmed employed as the country's spin coach between 2008 and 2014. 

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