The fear of the deadly COVID-19 virus, commonly known as Coronavirus has led to the sporting events around the world to be either postponed, played in empty arenas or played amidst tight medical overseeing. Teams who are travelling outside on tours are taking precautions like face masks, hand sanitizers and other measures to keep themselves safe.
One such team is England who is in Sri Lanka for a Test tour and has already announced that no member of the touring party including the players will be shaking hands with anyone including the opposition players during the tour to keep themselves safe amidst coronavirus threats. The island nation had announced its first case of COVID-19 virus on Wednesday, of a 52-year-old guide who had come in contact with Italian tourists.
England team set to follow the advice of WHO and NHS
The decision to not shake hands as announced by captain Joe Root which also mentioned that the team will follow the advice of the World Health Organisation and the NHS which includes regular washing of hands and avoiding those who are unwell. Now apart from no handshakes, the England team will not be signing any autographs for fans or pose for any selfies as precaution measures.
“Following the world health agency’s advice, and in order to protect the players and, in turn, the integrity and continuation of the Sri Lanka Test tour, the team has put in place several precautions, leading to a number of normal activities being cancelled for the foreseeable future. England players and staff have been asked to avoid any unnecessary public engagements, and temporarily avoid casual supporter interaction such as selfies or autographs,” an England team spokesperson said in a statement.
The statement acknowledged that though this step will be disappointing for the Lankan fans looking forward to interacting with the England team, it was a necessary precaution to ensure the wellbeing of the England Test squad. The England team will begin their tour with a practice match against Sri Lanka Board President’s XI starting March 12 in Colombo (PSS).
The two Test matches of the series will be played in Galle and Colombo (SSC) starting March 19 and March 27 respectively.
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