The England cricket team has recently cleared the required tests to travel home after a tensing visit to South Africa.
The T20s went through okay, but the ODIs were canceled due to covid outbreaks and breaches in the protocols.
The bio-integrity remained in question, and mental health will come into the picture soon.
Following the outbreak in South Africa, England how announced the dates for the Sri Lanka tour.
The tour was to take place in March, with two Tests.
The games will be played in Galle, behind closed doors, and after quarantine in Hambantota.
The tour is England’s penultimate series in the inaugural World Test Championship, and they need to do well to make it to Lords.
With covid-19 relatively new in March, the tour was called off in between a practice match.
The details regarding the trip and the bio-security are discussed after further discussions with Sri Lanka’s ministry of health and the Sri Lankan Cricket Board.
Sri Lanka has a lower case count, but stringent quarantine procedures may play on England’s mind.
The stringent quarantine measures influenced Bangladesh’s decision on the Sri Lankan tour earlier.
With England coming off a challenging South Africa tour, they may welcome all the safety they are provided.
The first Test is scheduled for January 14th, followed by the second Test on the 22nd.
Sri Lanka is one of the few sides that have still not played international cricket during the pandemic.
They are currently hosting the Lanka Premier League.
The Lanka Premier League consists of players from various nations and has so far been conducted smoothly.
If the Lanka Premier League can continue to go well, England may gain confidence in the safety measures taken in Sri Lanka.
After all, it was during their last visit when various protocols and rules were in place.
When England visited Sri Lanka in March, they decided to go for fist bumps instead of handshakes.
The fist bump is one of the few changes, and the saliva ban to take place during the pandemic.
The England team may face few absentees in their squad.
Rory Burns announced in an interview that he might skip the tour due to his child’s birth.
With strict quarantine rules, the opportunity to fly in and out may not allow him to return in time for either of the Test matches.
His absence may be felt as England will need to look for other opening options, which they have struggled to find since Alastair Cook’s retirement.
They have managed to find a settled pair in Burns and Sibley, but with Burns out, England will have to look for other options.
Jofra Archer may also not be available as he could be rested.
He has been a part of various bio-bubbles over the last five months, and a break will help him mentally, as he has complained about the issues in a bio-bubble in the past.
Ollie Pope is another likely exclusion, as he has recently undergone a shoulder operation.
James Anderson may also not be on tour in the hope of managing his workload.
With Sri Lankan pitches unhelpful to his bowling style, England may not want to risk James Anderson on a subcontinent tour at the age of 38.
Anderson has spoken about his interest in touring other nations and said he is open to it, but the management may have other plans as they hope to keep him fit for the Ashes in 2021.
Jonny Bairstow has not played a Test in over twelve months and may be included in the side.
He has withdrawn from the Big Bash League, and there are indications of his inclusion.
There may be a debate on the inclusion of wicket-keeper Ben Foakes, who has done a remarkable job on England’s last visit to Sri Lanka.