Legendary Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq recalled an interesting story from 1999 World Cup. Saqlain is considered as one of the best spinners come out of Pakistan, a team where pacers dominated the game. Saqlain has won many matches for Pakistan on his own and was an integral part of the Pakistan squad in 1999 World Cup.
Saqlain in a recent Instagram Live session revealed that he hide his wife in a cupboard of his hotel room during 1999 World Cup. Saqlain recalled the incident when a fan asked him on the session whether it's true or not.
“True! This is absolutely true,” said Saqlain replied the fan during an interview with Raunak Kapoor on Instagram live.
During the 1999 World Cup, the Pakistan Cricket Board suddenly asked the cricketers to send their family back in the middle of the tournament. Saqlain, whose wife lived in London, decided not to follow the rule.
“Actually I got married in December 1998. My wife used to stay in London so in 1999 World Cup I stayed with my wife and there was a set pattern – work hard and train like a true professional with the team during day time and in the evenings I used to spend time with my wife. But suddenly they said that our families will be sent back home. So I told our head coach Richard Pybus, that everything is going so smooth then why this sudden change. I am someone who likes to keep the things as they are and don’t feel the need to try out new things for no reason. I decided that I’m not gonna follow this,” said Saqlain.
Saqalin revealed it was Azhar Mahmood and Mohammad Yousuf who suspected that his wife was in the room.
“The manager, coaches used to come and check our rooms. Some players also used to come for a chat. So one day when I heard a knock on the door, I told my wife to go and hide inside the cupboard. The manager came, had a look and went back. Another official came and went back. And all this while my wife was inside the cupboard. Then Azhar (Mahmood) and Yusuf came to have a chat with me about the new rules. They suspected that my wife was in the room. After they insisted I gave in. So I asked my wife to finally come out of the closet.
“I managed to get away with it as after we lost the final to Australia, the atmosphere was very heavy, everyone was down. I went back to my hotel, checked out and told my wife to go to my apartment which was also in London. I used to play county cricket so they had they had given me an apartment there,” added Saqlain.
The crafty spinner picked 17 wickets in 10 matches in 1999 World Cup, which also includes a hat-trick against Zimbabwe.