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Saliva helps spinners to impart drift - Mujeeb

06 Jul 2020 CricBuzz

Afghanistan's premier off-spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman believes that International Cricket Council's decision to ban the use of saliva to shine the ball will not just affect fast bowlers but also spinners, especially in relation to imparting drift.

According to the ICC, the umpires will be initially lenient for the players to get accustomed to the new rules. However, subsequent misdemeanours will result in a warning for the team. In addition, the accidental use of saliva will be followed by the protocol of the umpires cleaning and sanitizing the ball before the resumption of play.

''Of course it [saliva] helps both the pacers and spinners. You get to have better drift. You can have a better break as you can hold the ball well in your fingers to spin it,'' Mujeeb told Cricbuzz. ''Saliva is important but so far there aren't any games. It can be seen how it reacts in the matches after some [games] are played. We are not using saliva anymore in the nets to prepare ourselves for the matches and we will see how things go in the matches. Saliva is [also] important for pacers, but they will have a better idea once they play two to three matches."

Mujeeb said that their training camp is helping the players to keep themselves fit at a time when numerous cricket tours have been cancelled due to the COVID-19. ''The training camp has been useful. Because we hadn't played cricket for some time, so it certainly affects your fitness. However, for our preparations, our in house games and gym equipment came [in] very handy. We really needed this practice, so the training camp was really good. We are focusing both on skills and fitness as both are essential."

Mujeeb also said that he is ready to play behind closed doors, but at the same time he observed that the presence of fans in the stadium motivates the players to do well. ''Well, you can play the match without it [crowd], but it is important that there is a crowd because you play with more enthusiasm. When you take a catch and if it is a big crowd, you enjoy it more. The bigger the crowd, the better the match feels.

''Crowd is nice. It motivates you. You get motivation from the crowd. If it's the rival team's crowd and you take a catch, it motivates you more and you play with more enthusiasm. So the crowd is important. Nonetheless, we can still play our matches without a crowd."

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