A stray dog invaded a cricket match between England and Sri Lanka in Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital, on Thursday. (Screengrab from Sky Sports)

Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of a very serious news article, this time about international cricket.

It seems this very good dog has gained exclusive on-field access to the cricket grounds during England and Sri Lanka’s high-profile clash in Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital. Here he goes, trotting about the outfield ready to share his keen canine insights on England’s 229-over-3 (whatever that means) performance, and — wait, who is this dude in the white suit with the floppy hat?

That’s one of the umpires. Ugh, no, he’s chasing away the doggy. Stop! Let him stay! Stop. Stop. STOP.

Look what you did. This highly intelligent, very cute, cricket-obsessed dog is gone. And now we have to go back to watching cricket. Thanks.

Street dogs (and cats) have been a problem in Colombo for years, but the issue got especially bad in the mid-2000s as the strays bred unchecked, developed illnesses including rabies and left residents in fear of dog bites. The pooches also presented a traffic hazard and — well, there’s no polite way of saying this — left poop everywhere, according to a study conducted by researchers at Royal Veterinary College and the University of Liverpool.

In 2011, Sri Lankan officials invested more than $1 million in culling the stray population by capturing young dogs and offering them up for adoption or euthanizing older, more dangerous ones. They also vaccinated strays and sterilized female dogs.

The program was largely successful, according to the Royal Veterinary College and University of Liverpool research, which was published in 2014. The risk of dog bites has dropped dramatically, along with instances of rabies and other illness.

As for the cricket, Sri Lanka has its turn to bat on Friday, with a chance to cut into England’s lead. The match is expected to last another four days. That concludes this very serious news article.

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