Peter Hayter, courtesy of The Cricket Paper, 16 May 2016, where the title is “There’s plenty of spice in this fiery contest
Stand by for the resumption of the second-longest running feud in world cricket. When England take on Sri Lanka in the first Test of the summer at Headingley on Thursday, they will do so led by the former coaching partnership of their opponents, Trevor Bayliss and Paul Farbrace.
Recently, they enlisted the help of one of the island nation’s greatest batsmen, Mahela Jayawardene, as a World T20 coaching consultant. Another, Kumar Sangakkara, has always been a popular and respected figure here and he is currently spreading the benefit of his vast experience over the Surrey dressing room and, for nearly two decades, as much as Muttiah Muralitharan terrorised England batsmen with the ball, so he also beguiled them with his vast smile.
Yet, as events on their last visit here in 2014 remind us, often when these two teams stand toe to toe, tension seems to be bubbling just under the surface and an eruption is often just a word, look or action away. Some suggest that one of the underlying causes of all the aggro here two summers ago was Sri Lanka’s irritation at losing Farbrace to England just days before the start of the tour two summers ago. Read the rest of this entry ?