Namaste in, high-fives out for post-virus cricket, says Rahane

New Delhi (AFP) –


Namaste and clapping could replace handshakes and high-fives when cricket resumes after the coronavirus pandemic, India's Ajinkya Rahane said.

Wicket celebrations might look very different post-virus, the 31-year-old batsman said, predicting many changes on and off the field.

"I think we might go back to the good old days when fielders would still stand in their designated positions after the fall of a wicket and clap," Rahane said in an online briefing.

"Maybe handshakes will be replaced by a namaste," he added, referring to the Indian greeting where both hands are brought together in front of the chest.

"But once sport resumes, you can't take anything for granted. The safety of the fans will be of utmost importance. There will be changes in lifestyle while travelling."

The COVID-19 outbreak has brought the sporting world to a halt, with the 2020 Olympics postponed for a year and cricket's richest club tournament, the Indian Premier League, delayed indefinitely.

Rahane said the players will need around a month to prepare for their comeback, adding cricket should only return once there's a vaccine for the novel coronavirus.

"We would be needing three to four weeks of proper practice before playing any kind of competitive game," said Rahane, speaking as brand ambassador of the ELSA (English Language Speech Assistant) app.

"I am missing my batting. But obviously, cricket should only start when we get a vaccine to fight the virus."