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SA players likely to avoid customary handshakes due to coronavirus threat in ODIs against India

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The South African cricketers could avoid the customary handshakes during their stay in India, head coach Mark Boucher has said as the number of reported positive coronavirus cases in the country crossed 40 on Monday.

The number of positive cases in India stands at 43 at the moment and the South African team that landed in the national capital for three ODIs in the wee hours of Monday, will “strictly adhere” to the healthcare protocols.

“With regards to handshakes and type of stuff that’s concern, so it will probably be fine if we do the same if it comes to that. I think it’s a way to stop anything from happening to our guys,” Boucher told the media during his pre-departure press conference when asked about shaking hands with the opposition team’s players.

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“I think it’s out of respect for players around you and not to pass on something that you might have,” the former Proteas stumper added.

South Africa went ahead with the tour only after their medical and security team gave a go-ahead after doing a risk assessment.

“Look we have a security staff and if we have medical concerns, we give it to them and they come up with recommendations. If they think its too dangerous, they will pull us out and they are no different,” he said.

Covid19 is a concern and that’s what they have been briefed, said Boucher.

“We had a nice brief last night from medical staff about the virus going around is that its a major concern. We are not medical people and we don’t know medicine like they do.

“So we have taken their recommendations and I am sure they have put stuff in places that’s going to help us.”