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When Saqlain Mushtaq’s wife saved him from angry fans after 1999 World Cup final loss

by Wisden Staff 2 minute read

Saqlain Mushtaq, while in conversation with Raunak Kapoor on Beyond The Field show, recalled the time his wife, Sana Mushtaq, saved him from angry Pakistan fans after the 1999 World Cup final defeat against Australia at Lord’s.

Pakistan were bowled out for a paltry 132 after captain Wasim Akram opted to bat first in the final as Australia chased down the target in 20.1 overs with eight wickets to spare. If that wasn’t enough, reports emerged that at least one of the Pakistan cricketers was spotted at a casino in the early hours of Saturday before the Sunday final.

Recalling the incident, Saqlain revealed how a few angry fans surrounded him before his wife came to his rescue. “We lost the 1999 World Cup final pretty badly,” he said. “Somehow we reached the hotel but I wasn’t in the mood to stay for another minute there. So because I had a contract with Surrey, I asked my wife to tag along. We packed all our stuff, dumped it in the car, and reached the apartment they had given me.

“But once we reached, we found out that there was nothing to eat. Because I wasn’t in the mood to go out to a restaurant, we planned that we’ll go to South West London for some shopping. So when we went out, there were a couple of grocery shops on one side and some restaurants on the other. And my wife said that she’ll go one side, and I’ll go the other and as I went there, some 25-30 people surrounded me and started shouting, ‘Saqlain, to hell with you, we’ll break your legs.’ Things got pretty tense there.

“Luckily my wife came running, shouting, ‘I was with him last night.’ But they were like, ‘No, he was in the casino last night. How do you know when the players’ wives weren’t even allowed in the hotel?’ Then she revealed that she was hiding in the cupboard of my hotel room. My wife really saved my life there.”

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