LONDON, May 19, 2014 (AFP) – England will hope history repeats itself when they begin their international programme against Sri Lanka with a lone Twenty20 international at The Oval on Tuesday. One of the few highlights for England during a recent tour programme that saw them surrender the Ashes 5-0 came in March when Alex Hales’ stunning 116 not out off just 64 balls saw them beat eventual champions Sri Lanka at the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.
England eventually bowed out of that tournament with a humiliating 45-run loss to the Netherlands while even Hales’s astonishing innings — the first century in a Twenty20 international by an England batsman — has threatened to become something of a millstone around the 25-year-old’s neck.
Tradition still holds sway in England, the longer the game the more respect it is accorded.
That’s why many England fans regard Tuesday’s match and the five one-day internationals that follow as a ‘warm-up’ for the more ‘serious’ business of the two Test series with Sri Lanka.
Hales, who has found himself on loan at Worcestershire from Nottinghamshire this season after averaging just 13.94 in County Championship cricket last term, would love to pr