Test cricket returns to the international stage Thursday when England host Sri Lanka in the first match of a three-Test series in the first match in the game’s classic — and longest — format for England since January and for the visitors from Sri Lanka since December.
Both teams, as well as the whole cricket world, have focused on the short, crowd-pleasing T20 format of the game since then with the T20 World Cup in India, and preparations for the big tournament, occupying the international schedule throughout the spring.
— England’s Barmy Army (@TheBarmyArmy) May 18, 2016
The World T20 ended in heartbreak for England. as they advanced to the final against West Indies only to see a lead slip away in the final over when England bowler Ben Stokes surrendered four consecutive sixes to West Indies slugger Carlos Braithwaite.
UPDATE, May 19: England were 175 for five wickets down at tea on Day one of the First Test against Sri Lanka when the rains came down at Headingley and after a delay of about 90 minutes, play was abandoned for the remainder of the day. Just 53 overs were completed after Sri Lanka Captain Angelo Matthews won the toss and elected to bowl.
England Captain Alastair Cook was dismissed for just 16 by seamer Dasun Shanaka, leaving Cook 20 runs shy of the 10,000 run milestone in Test matches. Shanaka claimed three wickets for Sri Lanka in 10 overs, while allowing 33 runs.
Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow were both not out for 71 and 54 respectively at stumps.
England also suffered a heartbreaker the last time Sri Lanka toured England, losing a two-match Test series to the visitors on the next-to-last ball.
Stokes returns to a cricket pitch for the first time since his shattering T20 World Cup debacle, along with T20 squad teammates Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Moeen Ali, when England’s Test team returns to action for the first time since winning a four-match series away to South Africa in January, two games to one, with one match drawn.
England Test Captain Alastair Cook leads his side in the first match of three against Sri Lanka, captained by world superstar Angelo Matthews, with the opener taking place at Headingley Cricket Ground in Leeds — a venue that has been something of a graveyard for the England Test squad in recent years.
In five Test matches at Headingley since 2007, England holds a dismal record of one win and four losses.
Watch the following video for a brief history of Headingley and some of the England cricket records that have been set at the legendary ground.
For highlights of Day One in the First England vs. Sri Lanka Test match, click on the video below.
To find out how to watch a live stream of the First Test match pitting England vs. Sri Lanka, see the streaming links at the bottom of this article. Day One of the First Test match is scheduled to get underway at 11 a.m. British Summer Time on Thursday, May 19, at Headingley Cricket Ground in Leeds, England.
For fans in the United States, the live stream gets underway at 6 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 3 a.m. Pacific.
England cricket fans who watch the live stream of the First Test against Sri Lanka will likely see an extraordinary milestone reached by England’s 31-year-old Test Captain Alastair Cook, who is expected to cross the 10,000-run mark in Test matches during his innings in the First Test against Sri Lanka.
— Cricbuzz (@cricbuzz) May 15, 2016
The entire Sri Lanka tour of England, which is scheduled for three test matches, plus five one-day internationals and a single T20 match will be contested under a controversial new “points” system, in which four points are awarded for a Test match victory and two for each win in a limited overs match.
The team with the most points at the end of all nine matches across the three formats will be the winner of the tour series.
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There are two ways to watch the England Vs. Sri Lanka First Test, Day One live online, free and legally. The first option is ESPN3, the online-only service of ESPN, which will stream the entire Test Match, including Day One at this link. ESPN3 is free to subscribers of almost any major internet service provider and dozens of smaller ISPs. For a complete list, check this link, or try the instructions at this link if you do not have an account with an ISP that carries ESPN3.
The entire England Vs. Sri Lanka Test cricket series will also be streamed live online by international sports network One World Sports. The Sling TV international sports package includes One World Sports and costs $10 per month. But the first month is free, and the subscription can be cancelled at any time. To access the Sling TV offer, visit this link.
[Featured Photo By Gareth Copley/Getty Images]