Thu. Sep 23rd, 2021


While the locals lament the Barmy Army’s absence – aside from the odd hardy specimen – the tourists are getting on exceptionally well

Galle has been a real fortress of Sri Lankan cricket. The heat, rank turners and some fine spin bowlers have ensured visiting teams last barely three days in a Test match here. England fans, though, have been attending in numbers for nearly two decades since the ground became an international venue. More in hope than conviction that their team will do well, the Barmy Army turns up just to have a good time. You would rather spend the winter in Galle, where the temperature is 35C, than ,at Nomansland in Devon or Bishop’s Itchington in Warwickshire where the temperature remains in single digits at this time of the year.

Sri Lanka is a cheap place for British tourists. A pint costs less than a pound, a decent B&B costs less than £20 a night, and Unawatuna beach offers fresh fish and chips for under a fiver.

Related: England in control of first Test after Dom Bess skittles Sri Lanka for 135

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