Our very own ‘Saqi Bhai’ was deemed a ‘traitor’ on social media as England called on him to tackle the Pakistan threat during the ongoing series.
After Pakistan’s victory at Lord’s, the hosts sought the former off-spinner for the second Test to help them fathom the threat of leggie Yasir Shah. The inventor of ‘doosra’ was also meant to tactically assist Moeen Ali with his off-spin. However, this did not settle with most Pakistanis.
Unable to comprehend how he would assist England against his own country, many took to Twitter to call Saqlain Mushtaq a ‘traitor’. However, former and current Pakistan players were quick to rise in the former off-spinner’s defence.
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Former T20I captain Shahid Afridi called people to ‘respect’ the former Pakistan spinner for his “job as a coach” and not label him as a ‘traitor’.
Respect to @Saqlain_Mushtaq for doing his job as a coach. One cannot attribute our match loss to him, nor should he be labelled a traitor
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) July 27, 2016
Further, former captain Muhammad Yousuf said it was “bad shot selection” and not Saqlain who was responsible for Pakistan’s rout at Old Trafford.
Professional @Saqlain_Mushtaq helped #EngvPak spinner but we lost the test match due to bad shot selection by our batsman
— Mohammad Yousaf (@yousaf1788) July 26, 2016
Former all-rounder Azhar Mahmood also rose to Saqlain’s defence and told his Twitter followers that coaching was Saqlain’s ‘profession’ and the off-spinner is still making Pakistan proud.
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blaming saqi for taking the Eng job need to realise this is a profession.He’s made us proud when he played 4 pak & he still makes us proud.
— Azhar Mahmood (@AzharMahmood11) July 26, 2016
Moreover, former batsman Muhammad Wasim also tweeted in favour of Saqlain.
Respect for @Saqlain_Mushtaq one of the best spinner in history of cricket. Some people need to realise coaching is his Job#Legend #Respect
— Muhammad Wasim (@MuhammadWasim77) July 27, 2016
If all this support wasn’t enough, Sana Saqlain, wife of the off-spinner, tweeted a picture of Pakistan captain Misbahul Haq and her husband shaking hands with the caption, “What a beautiful way to end the match… with smiles’.
What a beautiful way to end the match …with smiles @Saqlain_Mushtaq @captainmisbahpk #HoldingHands ✌️ pic.twitter.com/QVDT1eUX1o
— Sana Saqlain (@SanaSaqlain) July 25, 2016
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Moeen, who managed only two wickets in the first Test, was able to account for five batsmen in the second match to play his part as England levelled the series by defeating Pakistan by 330 runs. The 29-year-old English spinner said he ‘loved’ working with Saqlain for he was a “great coach and a great guy”.
Loved having @Saqlain_Mushtaq to work with this week. Great coach and a great guy! pic.twitter.com/2Geb1sKeFk
— Moeen Ali (@MoeenAli) July 26, 2016
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Here are a few reactions from Twitterati in support of Saqlain.
Same thing to ask of those questioning patriotism of Murali or @Saqlain_Mushtaq. Have you done more for your country than them? #simples
— Hassan Cheema (@mediagag) July 26, 2016
I dont agree with people criticizing @Saqlain_Mushtaq .To me he is a trorough professional who is doing his work.
— Syed Yahya Hussaini (@SYahyaHussaini) July 24, 2016
@SAfridiOfficial @Saqlain_Mushtaq lala I respect all for good job and blame all for bad. Saqlain is our hero if he coach us or someone else
— HUSSAIN AHMAD MARWAT (@QHAMarwat) July 27, 2016
@SAfridiOfficial @Saqlain_Mushtaq similar situation with Murali-Australia vs Sri Lanka
— Sallu (@Salil5555) July 27, 2016
@SAfridiOfficial @Saqlain_Mushtaq yess..we should respect our hero
— N●●R ~ ●/ (@Nfatima78670) July 27, 2016
@SAfridiOfficial @Saqlain_Mushtaq doing his job
— Arshad_PTI (@iArshad_) July 27, 2016
@SAfridiOfficial @Saqlain_Mushtaq he is doing his job honestly it is stupid to say something else for him.
Courtesy : Express Tribune