West Indies and visitors New Zealand are one day away from starting their series-ending third Test in Barbados, a series tied one-win apiece.
They start the Test on a Day tomorrow when Portugal meets Ghana, USA face Germany, South Korea tackle Belgium and Russia confront Algeria in Day 15 of the FIFA World Cup finals in Brazil.
Yesterday saw the International Cricket Council beginning its Annual Conference in Australia with Cricket Australia supremo Wally Edwards and ECB chairman Giles Clarke trying to pacify the increasingly restless associate and affiliate members including the West Indies, assuring good ICC governance and greater benefits.
It has been learnt that Edwards told members that the path was now open for cricket`s second- and third-tier nations to earn their way up the ladder through success on the field and sound governance off it.
Tim Anderson, the ICC`s head of global development, said the management of the governing body in Dubai had grown more at ease with plans for the next eight years after working at turning broad resolutions into more detailed blueprints.
And yesterday in England whose World Cup football team were set to return after a failed World Cup campaign, the English cricket team were beaten for the first time in a series with Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka beat the English by 100 runs with just one ball to spare, to win the second Test and also the two-match series 1-0.
England, set 350 for victory, were bowled out for 249 on the fifth and final day as Sri Lanka won a Test in England for only the third time in their history following victories at The Oval in 1998 and Trent Bridge in 2006.
There were more than 20 overs remaining when last man James Anderson came into bat.
But he survived for 55 balls until, with only one delivery left in the match, he gloved a catch off paceman Shaminda Eranga to Rangana Herath at leg gully.
Defeat was tough on England`s Moeen Ali who batted for six-and-a-half hours while making 108 not out — his maiden Test century.
England had been in charge of this match at 311 for for three after tea on the second day of this Test, thanks to Australia-born opener Sam Robson`s maiden Test century, and again when they reduced Sri Lanka to 277 for seven on Monday — a lead of just 169.
But Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews, who earlier in this match took a Test-best four for 44 with the ball, went on to make a superb Test-best 160, having shared an eighth-wicket stand of 149 with Herath (48) that gave the tourists the advantage.
England then suffered a spectacular collapse late Monday as they slumped to 57 for five in the face of paceman Dhammika Prasad`s four-wicket burst.
From then on England, who were denied victory in the first Test at Lord`s when Sri Lanka No 11 Nuwan Pradeep saw out the last five balls of the match to secure a draw, were fighting a rearguard action.