Spinners are being taught new methods to shine ball, says Mushtaq Ahmed

Former Pakistan tweaker and team’s current spin bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed on Friday stated that players have responded well to the new regulations put forward by International Cricket Council (ICC) in the wake of coronavirus pandemic.

The Pakistan cricket team is currently in England, acclimatising themselves ahead of their much-anticipated series which includes three Tests and as many T20Is starting August.

The visitors are currently under a 14-day quarantine period, following which they will travel to Derbyshire on July 13. They had started their preparations for the series with a two-day inter-squad scenario-based practice match played on July 5-6 at Worcester.

“Despite the Covid-19 related challenges, the players have been exceptional so far,” Mushtaq told pcb.com.pk. “We are trying to make them familiar with the protocols and they have responded wonderfully well. Players are coping with the new regulations with regards to shining the ball as well.

“Historically, spinners have used saliva to shine the ball now they are being taught new methods in lieu of the revised ICC rules and regulations.

“What makes me really happy is that the players and support staff are working together on team goals and objectives and I am sure in due course the players will be fully aware and ready for the new challenges as we prepare for what is expected to be a tough series against a strong English team in their own backyard.

“I am confident we have the players that can not only compete but also win the series.”

Mushtaq has rich experience of bowling in English conditions and that is bound to help the young travelling side on this crucial tour. He travelled twice with Pakistan’s Test squad in 1992 and 1996 and bowled some match winning spells, especially in the three-match 1996 series that Pakistan won 2-0.

Mushtaq believes that players will need to inspire each other in the absence of spectators to bring out best results.

“This tour is being played in extraordinary circumstances,” Mushtaq said. “There are no spectators, there are hardly any journalists either to analyse the teams or the game. Players need to inspire each other, back each other and support each other to the hilt.

“I am happy with the start we have made; we are getting accustomed to the environment and conditions and still have a long time to go before the start of the series.”

The first Test will be played at Old Trafford starting August 5 followed by the last two Tests at Ageas Bowl, which start on August 13 and August 21 respectively.

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