After five years, Australia’s cricket team is returning to Sri Lanka. Their tour of the island begins on 26th July and will run for six weeks, during which the team will play five ODIs and two T20s, as well as the three test matches.
Sri Lanka will be keen to prove themselves on their home turf, especially in light of their recent disappointment in the World T20. The reigning champions were knocked out in the quarter finals following a dramatic clash with England where they were defeated by ten runs. During their last tour of the island in 2011, Australia won the series 1-0 after the teams drew 2 out of the 3 Test matches. Of the 13 Tests the team have played in Sri Lanka, Australia have won six and lost only one, in 1999.
The tour will – unusually – begin in Pallekele (near Kandy), a move made to reduce the risk of the test clashing with the historic Kandy Esala Perahera. This is a Buddhist festival held in annually in August, during which the sacred tooth relic of Lord Buddha, usually housed in Temple of the Tooth, is paraded through the streets.
They will also be playing at grounds in Dambulla – part of the Cultural Triangle – and Colombo, as well as the Galle International Stadium, which boasts views of the Indian Ocean and the iconic clock tower of the 16th century Dutch fort.