Following a break from international cricket - five weeks is something of a luxury these days - Sri Lanka are back on Australian shores, this time for a one-day series, the CB triangular also featuring the hosts and India. They were last here three months ago for a two-Test whitewash that proved a handy catalyst for bouncing back to beat England in the subsequent home series.
They returned this weekend in Sydney and their coach Trevor Bayliss immediately promised that his side won't let the race controversy between Australia and India concern the team. "It looks like those two teams have got over it," Bayliss told the Sydney Morning Herald. "It's one of those things that happen in cricket every now and then and is pretty quickly forgotten."
He added that there was no tension with Australia in the Tests in November. "Certainly not, quite the opposite actually. The two teams got on well and from my point of view I made an effort for our blokes to go into the change rooms after Test matches to get to know some of the Australian guys."
While their forthcoming opponents were still facing each other in the much-publicised four-Test series in Adelaide, Sri Lanka took to the nets in a low-key manner in Sydney. Bayliss was happy not much fuss was made of their arrival. "The other two teams can have all the attention and hopefully that will allow us to play good cricket."
Their first challenge will be on Wednesday when they face the Prime Minister's XI, who will be captained by Victoria's Cameron White. It will be good practice for the Sri Lankans, who haven't played an ODI since the middle of October when they lost 3-2 to England at home. They have just the one spinner, Muttiah Muralitharan, in a squad with six fast bowlers.
The CB Series kicks off on February 3 with Australia playing India in Brisbane; Sri Lanka have their first action two days later when they will face India, also at the Gabba.