England players will not be shaking hands on their tour of Sri Lanka and will use fist bumps instead to greet each other following the coronavirus outbreak, skipper Joe Root said. England replace handshakes with fist bumps over coronavirus fears
Root’s team were laid low by flu and gastroenteritis in South Africa and are cautious following the coronavirus outbreak that has killed over 3,000 people and infected more than 89,000 globally.
“After the illnesses that swept through the squad in South Africa, we are well aware of the importance of keeping contact to a minimum,” Root told reporters before flying to Sri Lanka on Monday night for a two-Test series. “We’ve been given some really sound and sensible advice from our medical team to help prevent spreading germs and bacteria.”
“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 antibacterial wipes and gels we’ve been given in our immunity packs,” he added.
England will play the first of their two practice matches from Saturday before the first Test in Galle from March 19 while Colombo hosts the second test from March 27.
Sri Lanka confirmed the first case of coronavirus in the country in January but Root expected the tour to go on as planned.
“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,” added the Yorkshire player.