As the debate over whether wives and girlfriends should travel with players or not continues, former Pakistan spinner Saqlain Mushtaq has revealed that in the 1999 World Cup, he had sneaked his wife into hotels and hid her in the closet when the manager or the coach came knocking.
“At the 1999 World Cup we’d been travelling with our wives and family, enjoying the tournament, but before the semi-final the management said that wives are not allowed. I said to Sana (wife): ‘I’m not going to send you home. I’m feeling comfortable. You’re going to stay here,” Saqlain said.
“So I gave her a list of the hotels. She would check in before me, and I kept her in my room. Whenever the manager and coach came knocking, I told her to go and hide in the cupboard,” he told ‘ESPNcricinfo’ candidly.
He went on to narrate an interesting anecdote related to it when his teammates Mohammad Yousuf and Azhar Mahmood came in one day and after a few minutes starting laughing. They told him that they knew his wife was in the room and that she could come out from the cupboard.
Saqlain, who is known for coming up with the ‘Doosra’, also spoke about his silly tiff with teammate Yousuf in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 2001.
“Me and Yousuf were playing cards before the Christchurch Test (2001), joking around, taking the mickey and then we got into a bit of an argument. I said: ‘Sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you’,” Saqlain said.