England skipper Joe Root has clarified that his players will not be shaking hands on their upcoming tour of Sri Lanka in a bid to avoid the coronavirus threat.
The English player expressed instead of shaking hands, players will greet each other with fist bumps – a gesture of greeting or affirmation in which two people lightly tap each other’s clenched fist.
Recently, when England toured South Africa, their players were hit by a series of gastroenteritis and flu problems.
“After the illnesses that swept through the squad in South Africa, we are well aware of the importance of keeping contact to a minimum, and we’ve been given some really sound and sensible advice from our medical team to help prevent spreading germs and bacteria,” said Root as quoted by HT.
“We are not shaking hands with each other, using instead the well-established fist bump, and we are washing hands regularly and wiping down surfaces using the anti-bacterial wipes and gels we’ve been given in our immunity packs.”
On tour to Sri Lanka, which begins from March 07, England will first play two practice games, followed by the two-match Tests series, which will be a part of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC).
Root claimed that due to these preparations with respect to avoiding viruses, the Sri Lanka tour wouldn’t be affected at all.
“There is no suggestion that the tour will be affected, but of course, it is an evolving situation, so we are in regular contact with the authorities and will proceed as advised, but at this stage we fully expect the tour to continue as planned.”
Last time England toured Sri Lanka in 2018 when the English team won the three-match Test series 3-0. However, Root is expecting a harder challenge this time.
“The conditions will be a bit different with the time of year we are going this time. The three games we played out there last time were all very close with less than 60 runs between the teams in the last two Tests. It was an exceptional performance last time, and I think we can take a lot of confidence from that in terms of how to play out there.”
Not only Root but also the former Indian captain and current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly is also concerned about the deadly disease. As per a BCCI source, Ganguly will not attend the upcoming Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting in Dubai, scheduled for March 3, due to the coronavirus threat.
According to media reports, in the last few days, around 730 cases of coronavirus were reported in the UAE, which created panic among travelers and locals.