Former cricketer regrets ‘Sledging’ Sachin Tendulkar: ‘I could realise, he’s done his job’

Sachin Tendulkar is hailed as one of the greatest batsmen ever to grace the cricket field in the sport’s history. During his playing years, he was considered a nightmare for many top-class bowlers, who always eyed getting him out. Meanwhile, a former Pakistani cricketer has now revealed an exciting episode involving Tendulkar, when he regretted sledging the legendary batsman.

During his recent appearance on The Nadir Ali podcast, former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq revealed how his plan to get under Sachin’s skin during an exhibition match in Canada backfired on him. Mushtaq shed he went to Canada as a young bowler after playing County cricket in England. “Sachin was a very intelligent cricketer. I bowled a very tight first over to him and sledged him. I used some harsh words,” Mushtaq said.

“I never thought you would do this”

Revealing the 2011 World Cup-winner’s reaction, Mushtaq added, “He came to me and said very nicely “Saqi… I never thought you would do this. And you don’t even appear the kind of person who would say such words. I thought you’re a very decent person”. He said it so nicely and believe me for the next 4 overs, his words hit me. I was so consumed by what he said to me that before I could realise, he had done his job. He got set while batting”.

It is worth noting that India and Pakistan played a total of 16 ODIs in Toronto from 1996 to 1998. Going by Saqlain’s explanation, it is possible that he might be talking about one of the matches played between both teams in 1997. During this period, Saqlain was coming off his maiden County season for Surrey and went on to replicate the success in ODIs by taking 69 wickets in a year.

Meanwhile, further explaining the incident, the former cricketer revealed what transpired in the aftermath of the sledging incident. Later in the evening, we met and the hotel and I said to him ‘You’re a clever person’. And he started smiling. How well did he trap me. Not with the bat, but only by using his words,” added Saqlain.

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