Around 2.45pm a yellow weather balloon bobbed up above the Lord’s pavilion. It had “Boycott Sri Lanka” scrawled on the side in thick black ink, and a Tamil flag tied around the rope that tethered it to the ground. Cricket has often been portrayed as something that has helped hold Sri Lankan society together in the last 30 years. Only this week Kumar Sangakkara described it as the “heal-all of Sri Lanka’s social evils”. But this series is being played out to the sound of furious protests from London’s sizeable Tamil community, who are calling for the ECB to refuse to play against Sri Lanka until an independent investigation has been launched into allegations of war crimes committed by the government at the end of civil war in 2009. The UN estimates that 40,000 Tamil civilians were killed.