This was the first time England had come from behind to
win a three-Test series since 1888. It gave England
their fourth Test series win in a row: against Zimbabwe
and West Indies at home in 2000, and on the 2000-01 tours of Pakistan and Sri Lanka. So England,
hoping to avoid defeat in very tough conditions, overcame the odds to win
both winter series, the success often being attributed to the self-belief
coming from the partnership between coach Duncan Fletcher and captain Nasser
After losing the first Test match comprehensively by an innings England won
the next two Tests by relatively narrow margins, the batting feats of Hussain
and Thorpe matched by the bowling of Gough, Caddick and Giles.
The cricket was overshadowed at Kandy by clashes between the players and controversy
over umpiring decisions. Jayasuriya threw his helmet on being given out
caught to a bump ball and was given a fine of 60 per cent of his match fee by
the match referee and a 4-match suspended ban. Atherton and Sangakkara were
The tour ended on a down note with a resurgent Sri Lanka proving too strong and outplaying England in all
three one-day internationals. But in Test match terms it had been England’s
best winter tour for many years.
•Marcus Trescothick’s century (122) could
not prevent Sri Lanka
from winning the first Test by an innings.
•Darren Gough was Man of the Match in England’s victory at Kandy with 4-50 and 4-73.
•Nasser Hussain and Graham Thorpe rescued
the innings with a 3rd wicket partnership of 165 at Kandy
•Hussain’s century (109) was his first for England since Durban 14 months before
•In the third Test Graham Thorpe made a
century (113) while Ashley Giles (4-11) was the key bowler
Other first-class matches
ϯ Minor matches
§ One-day internationals
At the end of the Test series Atherton, Brown, Hoggard and Nixon
flew back to England,
along with Hussain who was injured. They arrived home on 20 March.
The one-day squad arrived back in England on 29 March
Time away from England
January - 29 March)
of the tour
At the end of the tour the
England & Wales Cricket Board launched its National Strategy for making England
the top-ranked Test match team in the world and winning the ICC World Cup by
There was considerable
dissatisfaction among the players with umpiring decisions throughout this
series which contributed to the demand to use technology to aid the umpires,
and prevent mistakes.
Another change presaged by this
series was the use of separate one-day and Test squads. Duncan Fletcher felt that
the Sri Lanka series was
lost 3-0 because England
did not have time to regroup or prepare players properly for one-day series.
He also believed that England
did not play enough one-day cricket