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Despite COVID-19 related challenges, players have been exceptional so far: Mushtaq Ahmed

The Pakistan team is currently under a strict quarantine after which they would travel to Derbyshire on 13 July.

SNS | New Delhi |


Pakistan spin bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed on Friday has stated that the players have responded well to the new regulations put forth by the International Cricket Council (ICC) in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

Notably, the Pakistan team is currently in England preparing for the much-awaited Test and T20I series which will commence after the conclusion of the England-West Indies series.

The Pakistan team is currently under a strict quarantine after which they would travel to Derbyshire on 13 July. Earlier, the squad was spotted preparing themselves by playing a two-day inter-squad based practice match played on 5-6 July at Worcester.

“Despite the Covid-19 related challenges, the players have been exceptional so far,” Mushtaq was quoted as saying by the official website of the Pakistan Cricket Board.

“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.”

The Pakistan spin veteran also stated that players will need to inspire each others now that the matches are set to be played behind closed doors.

“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.”

As per the schedule announced, England are all set to take on Pakistan at Old Trafford in the first Test commencing on 5 August followed by the last couple of Test matches starting on 13 August and 21 August respectively.