Australia’s cricketers will continue to shake hands, coach Justin Langer said Monday, despite England enforcing a strict fist-bump only policy to prevent spread of the coronavirus.
COVID-19 has claimed the lives of three Australians, with the global outbreak forcing a host of sporting fixtures around the world to be cancelled or played behind closed doors.
Australia’s three-game One-Day International series against New Zealand begins on Friday and Langer said there were no plans to change how the team interacts in the dressing room or on the field.
“No, we’ll keep shaking hands... there’s plenty of hand sanitiser in the Australian kits,” he told cricket.com.au on Monday following the team’s 3-0 series loss in South Africa. “I’m sure we’ll just keep shaking hands and move on from that,” he added.
England captain Joe Root last week said his players would be talking sensible precautions on their tour of Sri Lanka.
“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,” he said.
Langer admitted that some players were exhausted heading into the series against New Zealand having featured in all three formats almost continuously since last year’s World Cup, including the likes of leading batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner.
“The truth is we’ve got some weary boys at the moment, particularly our senior players,” he said. “They play so much cricket and you think about what they’ve done... since we started the World Cup (in England last year). They’re mentally tough guys but it’s a real challenge for us.”
The first one-dayer begins in Sydney on Friday with the second two days later, before the series wraps up in Hobart on March 20.
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