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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 October 2018

England players find themselves on a sticky wicket in Sri Lanka

Five of the cricketers need a little help from locals to get out of a situation they got themselves into

The experience of rain is not new for the England cricket team. They get plenty of it in their own country - especially at Old Trafford.

But their tour of Sri Lanka, where they are competing in a five-match one-day international series at the moment, has got off to a ... can we say ... sluggish start.

Only a day after the first ODI in Dambulla was washed out, five players from the touring party decided to explore the countryside in the north-central part of this beautiful island.

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But soon after they embarked on an elephant safari at Kaudulla National Park, the truck carrying Liam Dawson, Ben Stokes, Olly Stone, Chris Woakes and Jonny Bairstow got stuck in the mud.

In the end, it took a few sympathetic locals to push the truck back out as the players looked on with a mixture of helplessness and amusement.

The tourists will hope this is not some kind of metaphor for what's in store for them in the second ODI when on-field action resumes in Dambulla on Saturday.

The tour also includes one Twenty20 match followed by a three-match Test series.