The Show Must Go On
Those working to get the Galle International Stadium ready in time for Tuesday's third Test match deserve as much luck as they can get. Sadly, looking at the weather forecast for the next few days here in the south of Sri Lanka, they may not get it.
We are expecting heavy showers over the next few days to cause more problems for the groundsmen who are desperately trying to make the ground playable for what should be an emotional game.
It may be a cliché to say people are working "night and day" to get things ready - but here it is absolutely true. This afternoon there was a power cut at the ground which meant work had to stop for a few minutes and I noticed several of the workers lying down on the ground trying to snatch a quick nap. "It’s the first sleep they've had for about 56 hours," I was told by one of the organisers.
No matter how poor the weather forecast is and no matter how many doom-mongers predict the match won't start on time, if at all, everybody has to prepare as if an important game will get underway on Tuesday morning. Over the last couple of days Kevin Pietersen and Paul Collingwood have emphasised how important it is that the match goes ahead. Pietersen said today "there's a bigger picture than cricket here".
We are certainly preparing as normal to bring you the best possible coverage of this important game on Test Match Special. Ball by ball coverage is scheduled to start at 0425 GMT on Tuesday morning. During Tuesday's lunch interval we will be telling the story of how the stadium was reconstructed, hearing from the groundsman Jayanda Warnaweera among others, and we'll be reflecting on the opening of the amazing MCC's Centre of Excellence in Hikkaduwa.
During the tea interval we'll speak to England opener Alastair Cook who was in Sri Lanka just two months after the tsunami. He'll be telling us how the England team have been working to promote the United Nations "Cricket against Hunger" campaign and coaching some of the youngsters in the area affected by the disaster.
At lunch on Wednesday we'll be joined by Charlie Pelham who was one of the Harrow pupils preparing for a match at Galle when the tsunami arrived. He has an amazing story to tell both about the events of that day and the fundraising the school has undertaken since.
We have lots of other guests joining us during this Test. At tea on Wednesday we'll be talking to West Indies legend Clive Lloyd, who is the subject of a new biography.
We have a special "View from the boundary" during Thursday's lunch interval with Jonathan Agnew chatting to comedy writer and actress Ruth Jones who has just won a handful of British Comedy awards for her work on programmes like "Gavin and Stacey", "Saxondale" and "Little Britain". She'll be telling us why she and her husband travel the world watching cricket.
We will also be reviewing this series and looking ahead to England's tour of New Zealand in the new year which you will be able to hear on Test Match Special.
As always we would love you to get in touch - you can e-mail us email@example.com or text 84040 or you can post your comments here on the blog.
On the subject of your feedback we have had plenty of e-mails from those of you disappointed that our on-line commentary cannot be heard outside of the UK. I am very sorry that you are missing out on this occasion. To explain briefly: whenever we negotiate commentary deals with cricket boards we always request worldwide internet rights but, unfortunately on this occasion, the Sri Lankan cricket board chose not to grant them to us.
We will continue to attempt to secure these for future tours but in the meantime can I apologise and point you in the direction of the excellent TMS on-line text commentary and the after-play Podcast where you can hear Jonathan Agnew and ‘The Analyst’, Simon Hughes, review the day's action and interviews with the players.
Also, if you are listening in the United Kingdom through digital television or on-line don't forget to try the interactive service for up-to-the-second scorecards, wagon wheels and other information.
And I can assure you, come rain or shine, we'll be broadcasting at 0425 Tuesday morning - I hope you can join us.