Andrew Gale and his six Yorkshire team-mates out in Sri Lanka will take to the field later this week as they step up preparations for the new county season.

A side, including York’s Jack Leaning, made up of White Rose players and some from the Tamil Union first-class team in Colombo will take on a Sri Lankan board XI at the P Sara Oval before returning to Headingley on Thursday.

Gale, Jack Brooks, Alex Lees, Leaning, Eddie Wilson, Barney Gibson and Karl Carver have been at a training camp since last Monday.

As expected, Sri Lanka Test stars Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara have spoken to the group at some nets sessions thanks to their links with second XI coach Paul Farbrace, a former Sri Lanka assistant coach.

The pair even invited the players and coaching duo Farbrace and Richard Damms to their homes for dinner.

Farbrace said: “Through connections we have out here, both Kumar and Mahela have met the lads and talked to them about the game in general, which has been good for all of us.

“Mahela entertained us all for dinner on Friday with his wife – he sat between Karl Carver and Jack Leaning, he was excellent.

“Kumar came to nets on the second day and chatted to all the lads.

“He then had myself, Galey and Dammsy to his house for dinner and spent a long time chatting to Galey about batting.

“We have arranged a match at the P Sara Oval, the Test ground, which is where we have been each day for nets.

“We are playing the Sri Lanka Board XI, which will be a good test for us. The opposition are coached by Romesh Kaluwitharana, who was Sanath Jayasuriya’s opening partner at the 1996 World Cup.”

The full Yorkshire squad head out to Barbados on March 11 for their pre-season tour.

Meanwhile, Gary Ballance has been forced to have stitches in a facial injury suffered while batting for the England Lions in their fourth one-day defeat against Australia ‘A’ in Sydney yesterday. He was hit by Alister McDermott and forced to retire on 73.