England head to iconic Galle for start of Test series
It's certainly been an eventful start to England's final tour of the winter.
An emphatic opening victory marred by accusations of "cheating" with an England player talking about "wanting to kill" one of the opposition, a thrilling run chase as darkness began to fall at the SSC and a game disrupted by reports of a cobra by the boundary edge and a two foot lizard on the outfield. At one stage I thought about sending for David Attenborough rather than Jonathan Agnew.
And the drama is unlikely to diminish as the tour moves the 116 kilometres from Colombo down to Galle, a location which has been in the headlines many times over the past few years for events both on and off the field.
The Galle International Cricket Stadium is one of the most iconic venues in world cricket with the 200 year old UNESCO protected Dutch Fort providing a stunning backdrop and the Indian Ocean in the distance. Then at the other side of the ground you look down on the hustle and bustle of the bus station and local markets with traders selling a vast array of spices and freshly caught fish.
On the field there have been many special moments since Galle was first declared a cricket stadium in 1927. The ground was where Muttiah Muralitharan took his 800th Test wicket in his final Test appearance. It's also where Shane Warne claimed victim number 500. On the batting front Chris Gayle scored 333 at the stadium and Virender Sehwag made a brilliant double century.
England have twice staged superb rear guard fightbacks in Galle
But the biggest event in Galle took place on the 26th December 2004. A terrifying Tsunami swept through the ground destroying the stadiums pavilions and wrecking the pitches before causing horrendous damage in the town and surrounding areas. An estimated 40,000 people died in Sri Lanka because of that terrible event.
When we were last in Galle we heard some amazing stories from some of the boys from the Harrow school in England who were playing cricket on the ground that day. They were forced to scramble to the top of the stands to escape the flowing waters.
The Tsunami and its aftermath threatened the future of the stadium and it needed help from the likes of Sir Ian Botham and Shane Warne to push for its reconstruction.
In fact England's last visit to Galle in December 2007 marked its return as an international venue with work taking place through the night to get the ground ready in time.
England escaped with a draw in that game thanks to an Alastair Cook century despite conceding a first innings lead of 418. Four years previously they had pulled off an even more remarkable rear guard action with Ashley Giles remaining defiant as England survived with nine wickets down.
That game nine years ago was my first Test in charge of TMS abroad and it had an eventful beginning from my point of view.
On the eve of the match not only did we not have any broadcast lines - we had absolutely nowhere to broadcast from.
I had been promised a platform was being built for TMS but as night fell at the ground not a scaffold piece was in sight. Eventually at about 10pm I had to give up and go back to the hotel ready to spend the night fretting about whether anything would be in place in the morning. I was at the ground by 6am and amazingly our platform had appeared - but we still had no power or lines as play approached. We managed to get on air 20 seconds before the first ball was bowled - but only because Jonny Saunders had physically dragged an electrician from the other side of the ground whilst Jonathan Agnew and I somehow lashed together a satellite link.
But even that wasn't as stressful for Aggers as his Galle experience in 2001 where he famously ended up broadcasting from the Dutch fort.
When he and the BBC team arrived at the stadium they were refused entry by armed guards after the Sri Lankan Board demanded "access fees" for them to broadcast
So Aggers, Pat Murphy and co were forced to decamp to the turrets with a 100 feet sheer drop just in front of them where fortunately they still had a good view of the cricket plus a supply of king coconut juice and plenty of iguanas and snake charmers for company.
Meanwhile my predecessor Peter Baxter spent the day outside the main gate in temperatures of 115 degrees frantically negotiating to get the BBC team back into the ground.
I am sincerely hoping that my Galle experience on Monday is less frantic... although it could be an interesting Test match with the last game at the ground a lively affair with Australia winning a low scoring thriller on a pitch described as "poor" by the ICC.
Test Match Special will be on the air from 0515 on 5 live Sports Extra and at 0530 on Radio 4 Long Wave while bbc.co.uk/cricket will have text commentary throughout plus columns from Aggers, Alec Stewart and other features. And If you miss any of the action check out the TMS highlights show on Sports Extra or the TMS Podcast.