England gear up for Sri Lanka challenge

Published: Thursday, September 27, 2007, 18:01 [IST]
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England cricket coach Peter Moores said he hoped his team would rise to the challenge in a tough one-day series against World Cup finalists Sri Lanka.

England are in Sri Lanka to play five one-day internationals, with the first match starting in Dambulla on Monday. Their record in Sri Lanka is hardly impressive -- just one win in eight one-dayers.

"In some ways the conditions are part of the fun of it because the lads know it's a real challenge," Moores said on the England and Wales Cricket Board website (www.ecb.co.uk).

"It's a place to come and play which is historically known as difficult, partly because Sri Lanka are a very good team.

"The lads are very excited about the prospect, but to play here and do well we're going to have to play far ahead of our ranking."

England's preparations for the series suffered a setback on Wednesday, with skipper Paul Collingwood, Stuart Broad, Luke Wright and Alastair Cook doubtful for a warm-up game because of a stomach virus.

"A few of the lads have gone down with some sort of stomach illness. If it's like Stuart's it was only a 24 to 36-hour thing, so hopefully it will clear up pretty quickly," said Moores.

"We might be light of a couple of players for the practice game on Friday, but we have a 15-man squad for these things and if you're going to get a bug, you get a bug."

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