England cricketers will exchange fist-bumps, not handshakes, on the two-Test tour of Sri Lanka, captain Joe Root says.
That will significantly reduce the transfer of bacteria as some members of the squad have been struck down by a series of gastroenteritis and flu problems before and during the first Test on their recent tour of South Africa.
With the threat of illness a sensitive issue for England, Root addressed the issue of the coronavirus on Monday as the team prepared to depart for their two-Test tour
With the threat of illness a sensitive issue for England, the Yorkshire batsman revealed players will be greeting each other with fist bumps in an attempt to keep “contact to a minimum”.
Root said the illnesses that hit the squad made him “well aware of the importance” of keeping players from shaking hands.
“We’ve been given some really sound and sensible advice from our medical team to help prevent spreading germs and bacteria,” Root said.
“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.
“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.”
England won 3-0 in Sri Lanka two years ago but Root is anticipating a tougher challenge this time.
“The conditions will be a bit different with the time of year we are going this time,” he said.
“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.
“We respect how good a side they are in their own conditions and we’ll find ourselves up against a stiff challenge.”