Today I leave for Sri Lanka to see the first and second Tests. I do so with some trepidation for two reasons.
The state of Sri Lanka cricket is no more reliable. The board has been replaced by an interim one and the coach Zoysa is the latest under investigation for match fixing.
Also under investigation is legend Sanath Jayasuria who has allegedly failed to hand over his mobile.
Sri Lanka were the eighth country to be admitted to Test match status and acquitted themselves well in both formats, reaching the ODI World Cup final three times, winning it once.
They had the richly talented Aravinda de Silva, Sangakkara, Jayawardene, Runatunga and of course Muralitharan – now all departed.
Rangara Herath close to 40 is a world class spinner but he has indicated he will retire after the first Test.
As for England, it’s hard to predict their line-up.
Keaton Jennings and Rory Burns should open, but Number 3 is up for grabs with Joe Denly yet to make a convincing case and Moeen Ali indicating he does not want the position.
Who will the seamers be? Anderson, Stokes and Sam Curran ?
And will three spinners – Moeen, Rashid and Jack Leach – be picked? The weather might be the determining factor.
We England followers are battle-hardened tourists after India and the Ashes debacle, both of which I witnessed. It’s my first trip to Sri Lanka and I’ve only heard good things of Galle and Kandy.
For those back home TMS are not covering it ball-by-ball but are aiming to scupper Talksport with a podcast.