On Monday West Indies and Sri Lanka commence one of the most infrequent of international cricket assignments when the first match of a three-Test series begins on Wednesday at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad.
More than 36 years since being granted Test status, this is just Sri Lanka’s fourth Test tour of the Caribbean and the first involving more than two matches.
On their last campaign to the region ten years earlier, the team led by Mahela Jayawardene claimed their first Test victory in the West Indies in a shared rubber.
Sri Lanka will be keen to extend the form of their last seven matches in which they were beaten just once, away to top-ranked India, and enjoyed an historic 2-0 triumph over Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates while also prevailing at home over an improving Bangladesh side by the same margin in their last Test action in February.
However, their preparations for this series have been hampered by unexpected setbacks involving key players.
Concerns also linger over a number of seniors in the squad who are being managed very carefully with a view to ensuring their readiness for the World Cup in England in 11 months’ time.
Opener Dimuth Karunaratne will be missing the tour because of injury, as well as the fast bowlers Dushmantha Chameera and Nuwan Pradeep.