Mushtaq relishes England role
Watch ECBtv's exclusive interview with Mushtaq Ahmed in St Kitts
Mushtaq Ahmed has been asked to stay with the England team for a further three weeks in the Caribbean after a significant improvement has been noticed in the three spinners on the trip.
Mushtaq was originally due to go home today, but has had his time extended to just before the third Test, much to his delight.
“People can recognise your job here,” he told ECBtv. “They appreciate it when you do well.
“I believe in hard work and I believe in passion. I think I can deliver that. I am glad that I am staying a little bit longer here.
“It is a great honour for me to get involved with the great set-up that the ECB have.
“I personally think it is a great platform for anybody to express their experience and knowledge of the game to the players.”
The effects of Mushtaq’s coaching and experience of spin bowling has already seen Monty Panesar pick up seven wickets in the first warm-up game, with Graeme Swann and Adil Rashid also benefiting from the former Sussex ace.
“All three are match-winners, I personally think,” Mushtaq confirmed. “Adil is a proper package. I believe we have to groom that package to the real world.
“He has got all the variations and all the other stuff we can express into him. The good thing about him is that he really wants to learn.
“He has got passion about the game. And Monty, we know, is excited whenever he bowls. Swanny has got experience and he has been doing well.
“All three spinners can be a factor for England, anywhere they bowl - in England, in Asia or in the Caribbean.
“I firmly believe the spinner is like a tree. You grow the trees and they will start to provide you with shade and fruit. You have got to look after these trees.”
One of the main areas Mushtaq is looking to work on with the trio is making them feel comfortable when they bowl.
“For me to work with them, it is more about confidence and belief and a little bit technical here and there,” he admitted. “The rest of the things the guys have to do themselves.
“I always believe spinners have to remember one thing - they are spinners - which means they have to turn the ball. They have to turn the ball.
“Monty has that, Swanny has that, and Adil is a natural spinner of the ball.”
Mushtaq knows that another part of his job is as a role-model for his young charges, and he takes that responsibility very seriously.
“I am looking after myself and going to the gym every now and again,” he said. “This is a new generation, a new modern cricket. Coaches have to be fit.
“As long as they are fit, they can be a good role-model to the people who actually work with them.”
However, he admits that he still gets a hankering to put on his whites and contribute a few overs himself every so often.
“When I throw down to the guys, I think ‘hang on, I’d like to be bowling 30 overs again’,” he joked. “You never get satisfied.
“Whatever happened in my career was good and hopefully these new things I can enjoy more, even.”