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Mickey Arthur talks up England tour of Sri Lanka in 2021

Sri Lanka head coach Mickey Arthur has talked up the prospect of hosting an England test tour in early 2021.

It seems an age ago now that Joe Root and his England side flew back from Sri Lanka with their two-match Test series postponed.

That was March and we’ve since been treated to an action-packed summer of cricket, with home series against Australia, Ireland, Pakistan, and the West Indies.

There remains a little uncertainty about exactly when we will see England in action next but with our summer over it seems that will have to be away from home.

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A multi-format tour of India is scheduled for the early part of next year, while ESPNcricinfo’s George Dobell has indicated Chris Silverwood’s side could be set to play white-ball series in South Africa later this year and, potentially, a red-ball series in Sri Lanka in January 2021 – though at this point it seems as if any cricket played on those tours will sadly be behind closed doors.

It is understood that the latter tour could hinge on whether the ECB and the Sri Lankan government can come to an agreement over quarantine regulations.

Even so, it seems that Sri Lanka’s coach remains hopeful that his side will be pulling on their whites to take on England in the early part of next year.

Speaking to the PA news agency (via Sky Sports), Arthur said: “We had two months of total lockdown – proper lockdown – meaning solitary confinement and the army outside patrolling the streets. But after all that we sit here in a country that is basically normalised.

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“The Government has done a remarkable job. We have been able to go out, go to a restaurant or sip a gin and tonic on the Galle Face, but we’ve had no international cricket.

“We need to get cricket back up and running otherwise we may as well shut the whole thing down and wait for a vaccine. I’m really positive. I’m hoping we can fulfill our fixtures in South Africa come December and then have England over here to start a really busy 2021.”

Prior to the tour that never was earlier this year, England’s last trip to Sri Lanka in 2018 was a fruitful one as Rooty claimed his first series win away from home as Test captain.

Hopefully, he gets the chance to make it four Test series wins on the bounce next January.