Shane Shillingford bagged four wickets on Day Two at Eden Gardens © IANS

Kolkata: Nov 7, 2013

West Indies off-spinner Shane Shillingford on Thursday said Pakistan’s Saqlain Mushtaq played a significant role in transforming his career, which was hanging in balance after the International Cricket Council (ICC) had found his action illegal in 2010.

The 30-year-old Shillingford, who attended a clinic conducted by the former Pakistani off-spinner, said he gained much-needed confidence after the stint with Saqlain.

“Working with Saqi (Saqlain) made me mentally tougher in terms of self-belief that he really emphasised on,” said Shillingford, who picked up four India wickets, including that of retiring Sachin Tendulkar, conceding 130 runs on the second day of the first cricket Test.

“I really enjoyed every moment of bowling there. Saqi used to think much about preparation before a Test match and that’s what I took from him when he was at the spinning camp,” he said.

Shillingford said he had learnt the art of bowling doosra from Saqlain.

“When we first got to the spinning camp on the first day, he was telling me about my doosra and stuff and how I bowled it. So we went to the nets and tried out a few things. And he himself went out and bowled,” the offie from Dominica.

“The way he gripped is very difficult because his joints are different. But he definitely taught me a lot in terms of controlling it,” he said.

Shillingford was suspended by the ICC in 2010 after finding his action illegal but he worked his way back into the West Indies side for the Bangladesh tour in 2011 after undergoing remedial work.

“Things happen in life. As a player, that sort of episode makes one a tough player. But you need to find a way to bounce back and come good,” Shillingford said.

West Indies has a rich history of unearthing world-class fast bowlers but off late more and more spinners are coming into international cricket from the land of pacers.

But Shillingford said these has nothing to do with the slow nature of pitches in the Caribbeans presently.

“I don’t think the pitches are the reason. Honestly, I don’t know how to answer this question. When we play First-Class cricket, spinners are more successful. I don’t know if that’s why we produce more spinners,” he said.