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It's a wrong 'un!

by John Littlerichard

The ECB have fixed it for Mushtaq Ahmed to be its new spin coach. John Littlerichard is straight down to Ladbrokes to have a bet that it will end in tears.

ECB call for the wrong spin doctor

Good old Mushy.

He is the king of Sussex and friend to Fantasy Cricket managers everywhere ... and now the official Spin Consultant to the England cricket team.

picture of Mushtaq Ahmed
"There are sufficient reasons to cast doubt on Mushtaq Ahmed" (Qayyam Commission 2000)

Yes, that's the same Mushtaq Ahmed who in 2000 was featured heavily in Justice Qayyam's report into match fixing in Pakistan.

Qayyyam wrote: "There are sufficient grounds to cast strong doubt on Mushtaq Ahmed ... he has brought the name of the Pakistan team into disrepute with, inter alia, associating with gamblers. This commission therefore recommends that Mushtaq Ahmed be censured, kept under close watch and be not given any office of responsibility (selection or captaincy) in the team or on the board."

Welcome to the ECB Mushy. There's even a free desk now that another inspired appointment - Fitness and Strength Coach Marques Church - completes his prison sentence after spending ECB money to pay for his addiction to child pornography.

The Qayyam Commision heard evidence from a bookmaker called Salim Pervez that he had paid Mushtaq and Salim Malik $100,000 to throw a game against Australia in September 1994. When initially asked about this Mushtaq denied any wrongdoing and replied that he had played well in the match, however according to the transcript "when questioned as to how he knew which match the counsel was referring to, Mushtaq Ahmed had no answer."

Brilliant ... if nothing else it guarantees Mushy a place in the next series of World's Stupidest Criminals.

Mushtaq admitted that he knew Pervez but denied taking money from him. That other paragon of virtue Javed Miandad told the court that "Mushtaq Ahmed had confessed to him (Miandad) about his involvement in match-fixing."

picture of Salim Malik
"Well done Mushy. Can you get me a job there too?". Salim Malik celebrates having his life ban for match fixing overturned.

Further evidence before the Commision suggested that Mushtaq spent more time in the company of bookmakers than anyone since Jack Duckworth lost his window round.

Not only has Mushtaq been linked to match fixing but he is also involved in the ICL as part of the Lahore Badshahs. Isn't this the same ICL that so enraged the ECB that they effectively banned participants Chris Read and Vikram Solanki from any future England involvement?

Of course Mushtaq has never been convicted of any offences related to match fixing and therefore remains completely innocent.

Excuse me a minute ... I'm just booking swimming lessons with Michael Barrymore before dropping the kids off at their new child minder - Michael Jackson. On second thoughts perhaps not.

Mushtaq likes to portray himself as a loveable and slightly eccentric one-off - something of a throwback to earlier times when rotund leg spinners routinely won county championships. His efforts at Sussex should be rightly applauded; he brought some magic moments to potentially moribund matches and played a huge part in their two championship wins ... but there are sufficient concerns about Mushtaq's past to make this a questionable appointment.