Yorkshire are breaking from tradition to prepare for the forthcoming county season in Sri Lanka.
The white rose squad have spent the last four pre-seasons in Barbados during March, but are opting for a change of scenery and the searing sub-continental heat of Colombo from March 12-27.
Although dates of matches, venues and opponents have yet to be confirmed, the squad will play a two-day match and two Twenty20 fixtures between themselves in the first week before taking on local first-class opposition across the same formats during the second.
A 25-man party, including 18 players, will make the trip.
And although former second XI coach Paul Farbrace will be away at the World Twenty20 coaching the Sri Lankan national team, his links should help to give Yorkshire the best possible preparation in terms of facilities and opponents.
“You cannot overstate the importance of pre-season. What you put in on the tour, we’ll reap the benefits of our efforts once the season gets underway,” said director of professional cricket Martyn Moxon.
“This will be the first time that we have played over there. A number of players travelled to Sri Lanka last pre-season for a specific training camp, and they returned full of praise for the place.
“It will be extremely hot in March, and the players will work intensely on their skills, both in the nets and in match situations.”
Yorkshire’s first match of the new season is a three-day friendly against Leeds Bradford MCC Universities at Headingley on April 1.
Chief executive Mark Arthur added: “We have worked closely with Sri Lanka Cricket to secure this opportunity to train and play in some of the best facilities on the sub-continent.
“Sri Lankan people are extremely knowledgeable about cricket, and have a big passion for the sport. I know that Yorkshire’s rich history is respected over there. It will be an exciting visit for both the players and staff.”