England v Sri Lanka Tests
No secrets as SL prepare for England
England and Sri Lanka head into matches this winter armed with a detailed knowledge of each other
8 May 2016, 02:13 PM AEST
There aren't many secrets in international cricket these days and that will be especially so when England host Sri Lanka over the next few months.
The two sides head into the first of three Tests on Thursday week armed with an intimate knowledge of the other thanks to some significant coaching appointments over the past few years.
England's Australian coach Trevor Bayliss and his assistant Paul Farbrace have both previously held the role as head coach of Sri Lanka; Bayliss from 2007 to 2011 and Farbrace - who was also named Bayliss's assistant in 2007 - in 2013-14.
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But the Sri Lankans will be hoping to draw on some inside information of their own.
Former skipper Mahela Jaywardena worked with the England team as a batting coach for their tour of the UAE late last year as well as the World T20 in India and will follow the series in the UK as a commentator for Sky Sports.
While Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews played down the significance of Jayawardena having a foot in both camps, he said the former skipper could well have an input on their tactics for the series.
"There are no secrets in international cricket," Mathews said.
"We have a lot of video footage. They have media footage of us as well. So there are no real secrets.
"When we get on the park we know what they’re up to.
"There will be a couple of tactical ideas which Mahela can put in."
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In addition to Jayawardena's inside knowledge, Sri Lanka's South African coach Graham Ford can also draw on his experience as head coach of English county side Surrey as well as director of cricket at Kent.
One of Ford's star pupils at Surrey was Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara, who is still playing for the London-based side this year alongside England's limited-overs opener Jason Roy and highly-rated allrounder Zafar Ansari.
Jayawardena was forced to defend himself earlier this year after the president of Sri Lanka Cricket criticised him for taking on the coaching role with England for the World T20.
Sri Lanka and England were pooled together in Group 1 at the 20-over tournament, which led SLC president Thilanga Sumathipala to claim that Jayawardena''s decision to accept the England role went against "the ethics of cricket".
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But Jayawardena hit back and asked whether or not Ford's appointment would also be considered unethical given his past with Surrey.
"Ford has worked at Surrey with Jason Roy - the England opener - for the last three years. I guess that would be unethical as well," he said.
"In my heart I've had Sri Lankan cricket right at the top, but I'm also a professional."
"My role with England is to help develop their cricketers, and to help with how they should approach different challenges - like playing spin.
"England didn't hire me to give information on the Sri Lankan team. They have analysts and coaches to do that."