The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) have named their coaching staff for the England team’s upcoming tour of Sri Lanka for two Test matches in January 2021.
Both the Tests will be played at Galle International Stadium starting with the first Test on Jan 14 and the second Test on Jan 22, 2021.
Meanwhile, in a coup of sorts, ECB named former South African batsman Jacques Kallis as the batting consultant for the Sri Lanka tour. Apart from him, Paul Collingwood was named the assistant coach, James Foster as the wicketkeeping consultant, Jon Lewis as the bowling coach, and Jeetan Patel as the spin consultant.
ECB has also insisted that the tour will go forward as planned despite the outbreak of a new mutation of the COVID-19 virus, which has seen the majority of the country go into a tier-4 lockdown.
At this stage, Kallis is not expected to be involved in England's subsequent Test tour of India - although that may yet change, with the ECB having flagged the need to rotate their options for the foreseeable, to mitigate against the strain of living, practicing and playing in bio-secure environments.
Kallis is obviously one of the greatest all-rounders to play the game and has an envious record as a batsman alone. He has 13,206 Test runs at 55.37 for South Africa in 166 matches, in addition to 292 wickets, while his mastery of Asian conditions is renowned, with eight centuries at 55.62 in 25 Tests in the region.
He is expected to link up with the squad when they travel to Hambantota on January 2, ahead of the first of two Tests in Galle starting January 14.
With a new strain of Coronavirus wreaking havoc in the UK, England's other new-year Test opponents, India, has suspended UK flights as a temporary measure from December 22-31. England's squad are due to fly directly to India at the conclusion of their Sri Lanka tour on January 27.
An ECB spokesman told ESPNCricinfo that "we continue to plan as normal. We have regular meetings with Sri Lanka and there is another meeting planned for this week."