Proteas could avoid handshakes during India tour

Mark Boucher (AFP)
Mark Boucher (AFP)

Proteas coach Mark Boucher revealed that South Africa could avoid the customary handshakes ahead of their three-match ODI series against India.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) confirmed on Friday that the Proteas will continue their tour of India despite the ongoing concerns over the coronavirus.

According to India Today, as of 9 March, a total of 43 confirmed Covid-19 cases were reported in India.

However, none of the cities for the ODI series - Dharamshala, Lucknow and Kolkata - have recorded positive cases to date.

The global outbreak has forced multiple sporting events around the world to be either cancelled or played behind closed doors.

READ | How the coronavirus has hit global sport

"If they feel it's too dangerous, they [will] pull us out. We've got a medical staff to look after that... We had a brief last Friday about the virus going around and obviously it's a major concern going around in the world," Boucher told reporters following their win over Australia in Potchefstroom over the weekend.

"We're not medical, we don't know medicine like they do, so we've taken their recommendations. We trust that they're putting stuff in place that can help us."

Joe Root's England became the first cricket team to ban handshakes for their current tour of Sri Lanka.

Boucher revealed on Saturday that the Proteas could do the same.

"With regards to handshakes and that type of stuff, it is a concern. You'll probably find that we'll do the same (as England)," said Boucher.

"It's just a way to stop anything from happening to the guys. I think it's also out of respect for the players around you, not to pass on something that you might have."

The Proteas come off a 3-0 whitewash ODI triumph over Australia - Boucher's first series win as head coach since his appointment in December last year.

"We've just beaten a very good team which certainly gives us a lot of confidence, but India is going to be a tough test in very different conditions... India is going to be a very tough challenge, we've got to keep climbing up," said Boucher.

The first of three ODIs is set to get underway on Thursday at 10:00 SA time.

Proteas ODI squad for India:

Quinton de Kock (captain), Temba Bavuma, Rassie van der Dussen, Faf du Plessis, Kyle Verreynne, Heinrich Klaasen, Janneman Malan David Miller, Jon-Jon Smuts, Andile Phehlukwayo, Lungi Ngidi, Lutho Sipamla, Beuran Hendricks, Anrich Nortje, George Linde, Keshav Maharaj

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England 161/7 (57.4 ov)
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England 161/7 (57.4 ov)
Pakistan 326
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