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Health expert wants winter sports bumped in favour of cricket

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There are calls to swap winter and summer sports to help prevent players from contracting COVID-19.

Infectious diseases expert Professor Peter Collignon told Deborah Knight we need to rethink when we play contact sports as we head into flu season with coronavirus still an issue.

“Some people are hopeful we can eradicate this virus, I mean, like every other virus we have that’s more common in winter, I think that’s unlikely.

“So a lot of things we have to do, particularly handwashing, but also the physical distancing. We’re going to have to continue for a while, I would think at least until the end of winter.

“Now that’s a problem if you’re playing rugby where physical distancing is almost impossible.”

Professor Collignon said contact sports like NRL and rugby union see players in extremely close contact in tackles and scrums, making them vulnerable to being exposed to the disease.

On the other hand, cricket lends itself to social distancing, with players able to keep the required distance for much of the play.

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Image: Getty/Mark Metcalfe