Why is it Sri Lankans, more than Indians or Pakistanis – or any other nation for that matter – are so pitied when they arrive on this island? These poor, suffering, shivering, six-sweater Sri Lankans unable to cope with the “bitter” conditions which most Britons regard as “really quite pleasant”. And yet when England tour the subcontinent, while there is a mild degree of sympathy for the sweltering humidity they endure, there is more ridicule than empathy at our pasty-faced, blistering, sunburned, dehydrated bodies. “Look at the silly colonialists! They can’t even stand a bit of heat! Watch and laugh as the batsmen call for wet towels and plead for shade!”
The first Test starts on May 11, the earliest England has ever hosted one. But it’s not early enough. Don’t the ECB understand? While everyone else has to endure gas mark 9 conditions in India, we allow touring countries an idyllic 20c. I say: bring on the real cold weather. Let’s start hosting matches in mid January when it’s so cold that Briton’s faces are forever frozen in a “I think I’m going to die” expression, and teenage chavettess go clubbing in a belt, wondering why they wake up with gout (the disease, not the local chav. Although I’m sure some chavs are called Gout).
Let’s see how they like a north-easterly turning our grey sun-deprived skin to a hypothermic blue. Let’s see Muralitharan try and spin it on an ice-wicket. For acclimatisation, they could spend a T-shirtless afternoon down a freezer aisle in the local supermarket, catching packets of frozen peas. We’re too soft over here.
Meanwhile, James Anderson has broken his back or leg or something. Bugger.