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Matt Prior reveals how the heat of Sri Lanka takes its physical toll

Former England wicketkeeper-batsman Matt Prior has given his own account of what its like to play in the searing heat of Sri Lanka, as England prepare to start their winter in the 30 degree sun of Dambulla.

A veteran of 79 Tests for England, Prior revealed he once lost almost a full stone in weight while batting through a morning session in one of the harshest climates elite-level cricket poses.

“In one session – it was a morning session so 9.30 to 11.30 – and bearing in mind I was drinking a litre of fluids every 15 minutes, I lost 4.5kg. In a two-hour session,” Prior told TalkSPORT, who he joins as part of the commentary team for England’s three-Test series against Dinesh Chandimal’s side.

“It is draining, quite literally.

“You’ve got all the mental challenges of Test-match cricket – the intensity, you’re playing against some fantastic cricketers, the different wickets, the spinners, everything else – but then you’ve got this added pressure of the heat, the humidity and how much that does physically drain you.”

England will tour Sri Lanka playing limited overs series during October, with the first of five ODIs starting next Wednesday.

Three Tests follow in November where temperature generally reach an average of 29 degrees for most parts of the country.

Last time out in Sri Lanka, England came away as tourists with a 1-1 series draw under the captaincy of Andrew Strauss.

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