The independent voice of cricket


‘We’re not shaking hands’ – England guard against coronavirus ahead of Sri Lanka tour

Joe Root ill
by Wisden Staff 1 minute read

England captain Joe Root has said his team will avoid shaking hands during their upcoming tour of Sri Lanka, in light of the global coronavirus outbreak, especially after the team was affected by flu during their tour of South Africa.

Sri Lanka has so far had just one confirmed case of Covid-19, but England aren’t taking any chances after their two-Test series was cleared to go ahead, despite sporting events the world over being impacted by the virus.

England won their recent four-Test series against South Africa, 3-1, but the initial stages of the tour had a large portion of the visiting team suffering from flu and gastroenteritis. “After 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.

Joe Root was among many England players that suffered from ailments in South Africa

Joe Root was among many England players that suffered from ailments in South Africa

“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.”

The series in Sri Lanka will be England’s first two-match series in the World Test Championship. Given the outbreak of coronavirus in the East Asian region, there were doubts about whether the tour will go ahead. As things stand, Root said it remains on schedule.

“There is no suggestion that the tour will be affected,” he said. “But of course, it is an evolving situation, so we are in regular contact with the authorities and will proceed as advised.”

The first Test will be played in Galle, starting on March 19, but there will be two warm-up matches before that, against a Sri Lanka Board President’s XI in Katunayake and Colombo.

Have Your Say

Comment (1)

  1. <a href='https://www.wisden.com/series-stories/sri-lanka-v-england/coronavirus-doubt-england-sri-lanka-tests' rel='external nofollow ugc' class='url'>Coronavirus Casts Doubt Over Sri Lanka-England Tests | Wisden</a> 4 years ago (Edit)

    […] of the tour, are following the detailed protocol laid down by England Cricket Board. Having already substituted handshakes for fist bumps, they have also been told to avoid obliging fans for selfies and autographs. Over the course of […]

Become a Wisden member

  • Exclusive offers and competitions
  • Money-can’t-buy experiences
  • Join the Wisden community
  • Sign up for free
Latest magazine

Get the magazine

12 Issues for just £39.99