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On December 29, 1976, the greatest of all Pakistan off-spin sensations Saqlain Mushtaq was born in Lahore, and he now turns 47.
Saqlain Mushtaq, who invented the ‘Doosra’ delivery while bowling, troubled many great batters in world cricket during his sensational era.
In the ICC Cricket World Cup 1999, Saqlain Mushtaq became the first Pakistani bowler to take a hat-trick in a World Cup, achieving it against Zimbabwe.
On his birthday, we can’t forget his legacy. He achieved legendary status and was nicknamed ‘Magician’ for his contributions to Pakistan cricket, playing a vital role as an off-spinner.
Now, some off-spin bowlers are imitating his ‘Doosra’ delivery, but he was the official inventor, executing this delivery perfectly and claiming many wickets with it.
After Saqlain’s era ended, Saeed Ajmal came into Pakistan cricket. He was almost similar to Saqlain Mushtaq, bowling ‘Doosra’ deliveries and achieving impressive records for Pakistan. However, he didn’t come close to matching the greatness of the magician.
Saqlain Mushtaq achieved impressive feats in Test and One Day International (ODI) cricket. In Test matches, he secured three 10-wicket hauls and 13 times took five wickets in an innings. In ODIs, he managed to take five wickets in a match on seven occasions. Recognized for his outstanding performance, Saqlain was named one of the best ODI bowlers in 2000 by Wisden, a prestigious cricket publication. They ranked him as the sixth greatest ODI bowler of all time and the best ODI spinner following a detailed analysis in 2003.
He holds the record for the most wickets taken in a single year in ODIs, with a total of 69 wickets in 1997. Additionally, Saqlain was the first of only two spin bowlers to achieve a hat-trick in an ODI, the other being Abdur Razzak from Bangladesh.
Saqlain’s Test career lasted only nine years, during which he took 208 wickets in 49 matches. He also played in 169 One Day Internationals (ODIs), where he took 288 wickets.