Saqlain Mushtaq, the legendary Pakistani cricketer, has expressed regret over sledging Indian cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar during their playing days. In a recent interview, Saqlain opened up about the incident, saying that he realized the mistake he had made and wished he could go back and undo it.
Saqlain and Tendulkar were known to be fierce rivals on the cricket field, and their on-field exchanges were often heated. However, Saqlain now acknowledges that his Sledging of Tendulkar was unnecessary.
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The 1999 Chennai Test is remembered for Saqlain’s doosra to Tendulkar, which broke Sachin and many Indian hearts, but it wasn’t the only occasion that Saqlain was able to outwit the Legend. Saqlain beat Tendulkar in an exhibition match in 2015, using what he called the “Teesra,” as per Saqlain.
But, a former Pakistani spinner recently told a never-before-told story of teasing Sachin Tendulkar on the field. Sachin was slammed by Saqlain, and the Indian cricketer responded with an incredible retort.
“I once had an incident with Sachin. We went to Canada. I had come there after playing County cricket in England. I was a young boy then and I was in my own world of bowling. So after playing County I became a little cocky. Sachin was a very intelligent cricketer. I bowled a very tight first over to him and sledged him. I used some harsh words,” Saqlain Mushtaq said.
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“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 realize it, he had done his job. He got set while batting,” Saqlain said on The Nadir Ali podcast.
“Sachin kept hitting at least one boundary in the next 4-5 overs” – Saqlain Mushtaq
Saqlain Mushtaq, the former Pakistan spinner, recently shared an interesting anecdote about two cricket players who caught up after a match to discuss what had happened on the field. According to Mushtaq, the two players had faced off against each other during a match and had a bit of a heated exchange on the ground. However, after the match was over, the two players met up and had a conversation about what had transpired.
“These are tactics. When someone talks to you nicely, you start thinking about it. While I was in my own thoughts, Sachin kept hitting at least one boundary in the next 4-5 overs and I began respecting him. When he finally stepped out and smashed another four, I felt a slap on my face. I then realized ‘He played a game with me’. By then he was well set and things had gotten out of my hands. 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,” Saqlain Mushtaq added.
Saqlain Mushtaq’s success in his maiden County season with Surrey was truly remarkable. Not only did he make a name for himself in the English domestic circuit, but he also went on to replicate his success at the international level. In fact, he holds the record for the most ODI wickets picked in a calendar year.