ENGLAND’S ASHES winners, already trailing 3-0 to Sri Lanka in the NatWest One Day International series, failed to salvage any pride, slumping to their first ever 5-0 series whitewash.
In the fourth match at Old Trafford, a second successive Jayawardene century helped the Tourists to a 33-run victory. Three days later at Headingley, Marcus Trescothic contributed a massive 121, but Sri Lanka proved up to the challenge. A world record opening stand of 286 by Sanath Jayasuriya and Upul Tharanga chased down the total, completing England’s misery, with eight wickets and 12.3 overs to spare. The heroes of yesteryear have now tumbled to eighth in the world rankings, with only Zimbabwe, Bangladesh and Kenya below them.
The series defeat coincided with the death of possibly England’s best fast bowler ever, Fred Trueman. The 75-year-old Yorkshireman became the first bowler to take 300 Test wickets in 1964, despite missing 50 Tests due to his constant conflict with MCC selectors, playing his last game at Lord’s against New Zealand the following year. He later became a long-standing broadcaster with the BBC, coining the phrase “I don’t know what’s going off out there” summing up his dismay at the lack of tactics in the modern game.