India and South Africa gear up for a 3-match ODI series in the wake of coronavirus outbreak in the country, players from both the teams will be following quite a few precautionary measures.
On Tuesday, India leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal posted a photo of himself from the Delhi airport with a face mask on. Chahal will be joining the rest of his teammates later in the day in Dharamsala where the 1st ODI will be held on March 12.
The coronavirus outbreak has triggered a global health scare and sporting events across the globe are being cancelled or pushed to a later date. Some of the biggest sporting events, including a Champions League football match, is set to be played behind closed doors.
In the lead up to Tokyo Olympics 2020, several Olympic test events and qualifiers have been cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus scare.
As of March 9, a total of 44 confirmed COVID-19 cases were reported in India even as health authorities in the country are mulling various measures to control the outbreak.
South Africa players are likely to avoid handshakes and interactions with fans, including selfies, during the 3-match ODI series against India.
“With regards to handshakes and the 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,” head coach Mark Boucher told the media during his pre-departure press conference.
“I think it’s out of respect for players around you and not to pass on something that you might have,” Boucher said.
South Africa went ahead with the India 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.
Meanwhile, Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) director Sanjay Sharma on Tuesday said the coronavirus scare will have an impact on the 1st ODI in Dharamsala.
“In India, things are in control but there is a bit of scare because of the impact that coronavirus has had globally. There will be a bit of impact on the match due to coronavirus and also because the match is not on the weekend,” Sharma told ANI.