Former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq believes that the ICC only penalises bowlers who have bends of more than 25 degrees in their bowling arms. He also added that it is perfectly feasible to bowl the Doosra with a legal action.
While interacting with Nikhil Naz on Instagram, Saqlain Mushtaq also revealed how he had perfected the Doosra and why Moin Khan should be given that name instead of him.
On being asked if the Doosra had gone out of the game and how he saw the 15-degree rule of the ICC to identify a legal action, Saqlain Mushtaq said that it was too small an angle and that the global cricket governing body should consider looking at it again.
"Fifteen degress is very small. On a wall-clock, 15 degrees lies between 12 and 1. It is so small. If you stand normally, your arm would have an automatic bend of 15 degrees. Everyone has a bend in their arm. I think it is too small, ICC should consider this."
But Saqlain Mushtaq added that as per his observations, the ICC only penalises the bowlers if the arm bend is more than 25 degrees. He said that they allow the bowlers to continue bowling if the angle is lesser than that.
"And as per my observation, probably ICC only catches when the bend is more than 25 degrees. That is what I feel, I may be wrong also. Whoever is lesser than that, they allow him to continue."
On being asked if the Doosra can be bowled with a legitimate action, Saqlain Mushtaq replied in the affirmative.
"I believe Doosra can be bowled with a legal action. A right grip, right technique and developing the proper muscles is the key to bowling the Doosra."
He added that bowlers get into trouble only when they copy other bowlers, without having the requisite grip or technique since they have not practised it from a young age.
"When you copy someone, your grip is somewhat different, you have not developed the required muscles and your technique is not that good. Which is why the bend goes beyond 15 degrees. If you develop these things at an early age, then you would be able to bowl the Doosra legally."
You need to make your muscles strong and flexible. But you need to be careful that you don't loose the off-spin because of that.
Saqlain Mushtaq explained how he developed the Doosra through experimentation, and how he graduated from a table tennis ball to a tennis ball and finally to a cricket ball.
"I started early. We used to put tape on a table tennis ball and try different types of deliveries. I used to keep experimenting. You need to play cricket with passion, play with your heart."
"That is how I developed the Doosra through experimentation. I first started with table tennis ball, then tennis ball and then moved to the cricket ball. I first bowled with a shorter distance and then moved to the eventual pitch length. It took almost 2-3 years to perfect it."
Saqlain Mushtaq on the origin of the word 'Doosra'
On being asked how much credit he would give to Moin Khan for making the Doosra popular, Saqlain Mushtaq replied that all the credit should go the Pakistan wicket-keeper.
"All credit goes to Moin. He did so much Saqi, Saqi that even bus conductors started calling me Saqi."
The off-spinner also highlighted the role of Moin Khan in encouraging the team with his constant chirping from behind the wickets.
"Moin bhai had the habit of passing comments from behind. The team might be under tremendous pressure but he would go on talking from behind. We used to get energy from his shouting. He used to keep cheering us and asking us to buck up."
He also narrated an incident when Mushtaq Ahmed got upset that Moin Khan would complain to Wasim Akram whenever he bowled a googly, but when Saqlain Mushtaq bowled a Doosra there would be no such complaints.
He also shared Moin Khan's response to this complaint made by Mushtaq Ahmed.
"Mushi you bowl 6 googlies in an over, but Saqi listens to me when to bowl the doosra," Moin had said.
Saqlain Mushtaq revealed that Mushtaq Ahmed in turn had asked Moin Khan to mind his own business as he was not the bowler.
"Mushi responded back saying that 'I am the bowler and you are the keeper, don't give me instructions'. The two of them always used to have a tussle because they were the same age."
Saqlain Mushtaq added that he used to trust Moin Khan's judgement and thus listened to him.
"Because I was junior I used to listen to Moin bhai and I had trust on him as well."
Saqlain Mushtaq signed off by saying that all the credit for the Doosra should go to Moin Khan, and that the latter should be called by that name as he was the one who gave the name to that delivery.
"Credit goes to Moin Khan. He only gave the name 'Doosra'. Commentators only got that name after listening to Moin behind the stumps. So, I feel and often call him to tell that he should be called 'Doosra' and not me."
Published 13 Jun 2020, 16:36 IST