Worcester:Pakistan spin bowling coach and team mentor for the England tour Mushtaq Ahmed said players are coping well with the new playing protocols introduced by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to prevent the proliferation of COVID-19.
ICC’s new protocols prohibit bowlers from shining the ball with saliva and handing their sweater, cap or hat to the umpires while bowling.
“Despite the Covid-19 related challenges, the players have been exceptional so far. 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,” Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) official website quoted Mushtaq as saying.
“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,” he added.
Pakistan are currently quarantining in a bio-secure environment at Worcester’s New Road Ground, where they have been preparing for the three-match Test series against England.
During the quarantine period, the players are undergoing fitness training, net practice, fielding sessions and intra-squad matches under the supervision of a high-profile coaching staff led by head coach Misbah-ul-Haq.
Former spinner believes that players will need to inspire each other in the absence of spectators to bring out the best results.
“This tour is being played in extraordinary circumstances. 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,” Ahmed, the veteran of 52 Tests, said.
“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,” he added.
The first match will be played at Old Trafford, Manchester on August 5.