South Africa might avoid handshakes during the India series, reveals head coach Mark Boucher

South Africa might avoid handshakes during the India series, reveals head coach Mark Boucher

The three-match ODI series between India and South Africa will kickstart from March 12th in Dharamsala.

South African team
South African team. (Photo by WIKUS DE WET/AFP via Getty Images)

The entire world is grappling with the rising threat of the Coronavirus– a deadly disease that started like flu in the City of Wuhan, China last year. The virus has already claimed thousands of lives and the number is steadily going up with it proliferating in as many as 80 countries,  including India.

Around 33 confirmed cases have been reported across the country. The rising threat had put the South African ODI tour of India in jeopardy but with none of the cities– Dharamshala, Lucknow and Kolkata— where the games are scheduled to take place having reported any case thus far, the tour was given a go-ahead by both the participating boards. 

South Africa will spend a day in Delhi before going to Dharamsala for the first ODI and in a press conference held ahead of South Africa’s departure for India, Head coach Mark Boucher has revealed that the Proteas might go down the English route- of avoiding handshakes– as a precaution against the deadly virus.

England had recently announced that they will be employing fist pumps in place of handshakes during the Sri Lankan tour. Australian coach Justin Langer has, however, refused to go down that path just yet.

Mark Boucher signals towards Proteas avoiding handshakes during India tour

“With regards to handshakes and type of stuff that’s a 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. I think it’s out of respect for players around you and not to pass on something that you might have,” Mark Boucher, former South African wicket-keeper and the current Head Coach said as quoted by the Times of India.

He added: “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 it’s too dangerous, they will pull us out and they are no different. 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 are going to help us.”

The three-match ODI series between India and South Africa will kickstart from March 12th in Dharamsala where Quinton de Kock-led visitors will hope to do an encore of what they did in 2015- beat India in India. South Africa last visited India back in September and October where they drew the T20I series [1-1] before suffering a humiliating whitewash in the three-match Test series.