Players need to motivate each other in absence of fans; says Mushtaq


LONDON: Spin bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed has said that players will have to motivate each other in the absence of any spectators in cricket’s post-coronavirus reality while quarantining with the Pakistani team in England ahead of a three-Test series next month.

Playing behind closed doors is one of the many conditions the game has reluctantly accepted before international cricket resumed on Wednesday with England’s home series against West Indies.

Mushtaq Ahmed

Taking on England in August, Pakistan would have traditionally enjoyed strong support from diaspora living there, but not this time as the matches will be played in a bio-secure environment.

“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,” Mushtaq told the Pakistan Cricket Board.

While quarantining at Worcester’s New Road Ground, the team under Azhar Ali are also getting used to the game’s new protocols, including a ban on using saliva to shine the ball.

 “Despite the Covid-19 related challenges, the players have been exceptional so far,” Mushtaq said adding; “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,” said the former Test spinner.