'You bowl a bit like Waqar Younis' - Saqib Mahmood compared to Pakistan legend for his toe crushing yorkers

‘You bowl a bit like Waqar Younis’ – Saqib Mahmood compared to Pakistan legend for his toe crushing yorkers

“Oh, my God, I’m going to be playing for England.”

Saqib Mahmood
Saqib Mahmood. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

England is on a high after a successful 2019 so far with their maiden World Cup triumph and drawing the Ashes at home despite a rampaging Steve Smith breaking many records. Now they will travel to New Zealand under a new coach Chris Silverwood and he will be excited to repeat the success of his predecessor Trevor Bayliss.

The tour will see some new faces in the England team for both the Tests and T20I series. Though a big name in Jonny Bairstow is missing from the Test side and James Anderson remains unavailable, the England selectors have placed their fate on Saqib Mahmood, who has been picked in both the squads and is expected to do wonders. The 22-year-old plays for Lancashire in English County cricket and hailed as one of the fastest bowlers in England.

“Oh, you bowl a bit like Waqar Younis”, Ottis Gibson told me, says Saqib Mahmood

Standing 6ft 2in tall, Mahmood is dubbed as the best death-overs bowler currently in England and his ability to bowl yorkers at will is legendary. ‘I want to get long in my delivery stride compared to red-ball cricket because that’s where I get my pace. ‘A few years ago, I was working with Ottis Gibson and he told me “Oh, you bowl a bit like Waqar Younis,” Mahmood was quoted as saying by dailymail.co.uk.

“So, all of a sudden I’m watching YouTube clips seeing the kind of things he did and comparing it to what I do and just seeing how I can better myself. Yeah, when I do try and bowl yorkers I bring my arm down at the back end. It helps me sort of spear them in and get the ball tailing as well,” he added.

Mahmood was named player of the 2019 Royal London Cup for 28 wickets in only 10 appearances and this led to his inclusion in England tour to New Zealand, as the three lions look ahead in building a team for upcoming T20 World Cup in 2020.

He pointed out that he was more suited for Test cricket outside England given that he is a seamer who can move the ball both ways and be consistent for a long time. Speaking about the news of his selection, Mahmood said, ‘When he told me I was on both squads, I had to say “Sorry, did you say the T20s and the Tests?” He was like: “Yeah”. I didn’t hear the rest of the phone call. All I can think is “Oh, my God, I’m going to be playing for England.”

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