Former leggie Mushtaq Ahmed is extremely satisfied how the players have adjusted to the new regulations imposed by the ICC. One of the most eye-catching rules formulated by the ICC due to the COVID-19 pandemic is the ban on the use of saliva and the challenges that come with it. Mushtaq Ahmed feels delighted how the athletes have coped up and are abiding with the protocols.
Mushtaq Ahmed has reached England along with the 29-member squad and serves as the national team’s spin-bowling coach. The men in green have reached the shores of the United Kingdom where they are isolating themselves. The tour kicks off on the 5th of August with the first of the three Tests. Pakistan will also play three T20Is during the visit. England are currently playing the West Indies.
Mushtaq Ahmed admitted that despite the challenges the pandemic has posed, players have been nothing less than exceptional. He said that the management is making aware the requisite protocols to their players and they are responding to it quite well. The mentor further claimed that while spinners have used saliva traditionally to shine the ball, they are learning new methods, considering the circumstances.
“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. 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,” the 50-year-old Mushtaq Ahmed told pcb.com.pk
I am sure in due course the players will be fully aware and ready for the new challenges: Mushtaq Ahmed
The Sahiwal-born spinner went on to express his delight at all the people working together to achieve the goals and objectives. He conveyed confidence in players that they will acclimatise to the conditions and bring in desired results.
“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,” he added.
Mushtaq Ahmed was part of Pakistan’s squad that won the Test series in England’s backyard in 1992 and 1996 and hence is very experienced. The mystery leg-spinner claimed 15 and 17 wickets in 1992 and 1996 respectively in the visitors’ victorious effort.
As a matter of fact, in 1996, Ahmed was the highest wicket-taker from both the sides across three matches. And 1996 was the last when the men in green won a series in England while the previous two rubbers resulted in a draw.