Australia and England to shake hands before ODI opener

By Ben Spratt 12 June 2018 188
Australia and England to shake hands before ODI opener

Australia are to take a first step towards improving their public image when they shake hands with opponents England ahead of the one-day international series.

Australian cricket is still recovering from the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa earlier this year that saw three players - Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft - banned and prompted a change of leadership.

In response, new head coach Justin Langer outlined aims for the team to be "number one" in professionalism, honesty and humility.

And captain Tim Paine has now put in place a plan to ensure those goals are met in the five-match series against England, with the two teams set to shake hands before the first game.

"[England] don't have to do it but it's something we want to bring in at the start of a series, not before every game," Paine said.

Opposite number Eoin Morgan has agreed to the request ahead of Wednesday's meeting at the Oval, and understands the reasons for Australia's suggestion.

"I'm absolutely happy with that, it doesn't bother me," he said. "They are trying to turn around the image of the game in their country, and we're all for that.

"We want cricket to be as popular as ever."

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