Pakistan's Saqlain Mushtaq Image Credit: Sankha Kar/Gulf News Archive

Sharjah: The term ‘doosra’ is an accepted one in the spinners’ lexicon today, but very few know the term was actually created by Moin Khan — former Pakistan wicketkeeper and manager of the side now touring the UAE.

In an exclusive interview with Gulf News, Khan narrated how he stumbled upon this word.

“When we used to play against England, Australia and West Indies who do not know Urdu, I used to tell Saqlain Mushtaq from behind the wickets to bowl the doosra (the other one). None of the batsmen could understand what he was going to do when I said it and Saqlain used to then produce this shock delivery that used to go from leg to off. Someone heard from the stump mike what I was telling Saqlain and one of the commentators thus made it known to the world that his delivery is called doosra.”

Khan is delighted that today, doosra is an accepted term in cricket. “It was a simple word in Urdu which means the other one. Though I coined the term, the real inventor of that delivery is Saqlain and he deserves all the credit for it. I am happy and honoured to have named that particular delivery.”

When asked how was it to keep against Saqlain’s doosra’s and whether he gave any signals to him before producing this special delivery, Khan said: “No he never did because Saqlain and me used to play together in the same team for Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). I met Saqlain when I went to take the trials of the Under-19 team in Lahore. I was so impressed with his bowling that I right away picked him for the PIA team and we started playing together from first class cricket.

“I had a very good coordination with Saqlain and he always listened to me as captain and also sought my guidance as wicketkeeper. I used to keep so comfortably against him and thus got to produce many stumping when he produced those doosra.”

Khan knows the conditions here better than anyone. “Wickets here are very good batting pitches. I have played in Sharjah but not in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. I have very happy memories of Sharjah,” said Khan, who took four catches in his second One-day international match of his career against West Indies here in October 1991. He took the catches of Brian Lara, Gus Logie, Jeff Dujon and Clayton Lambert.

“After that match, skipper Imran Khan said to newspapers that I am one of the best wicketkeepers and his words gave a big boost to my career. Praise from a fine player and captain like Imran went a long way for me,” said Khan.

The chirpy former stumper says he is enjoying the role of a manger. “I went for the Zimbabwe tour as manager. The conduct of the team was very good. A former Test cricket and Pakistan captain as manager, I understand, has helped the team. I have passed on all my experiences as a player to my boys. It is after a long time that a former captain is managing the team,” added Khan.