Kumar Sangakkara thrilled to start MCC tour and hopes countries will return to playing cricket in Pakistan
Kumar Sangakkara hopes that the Marylebone Cricket Club’s tour of Pakistan will help encourage nations to respect the nation”as one of the very best cricketing destinations”.
MCC president Sangakkara was a part of this Sri Lankan side which was assaulted in 2009 when 12 gunmen opened fire on the group bus near the Gaddafi Stadium.
Nevertheless, the 42-year-oldback in Lahore at the onset of the MCC’s first tour of Pakistan in 48 years, says he is determined to assist the country stage more games in the future.
“Despite the MCC and for me personally, we’re thrilled to be here,” explained Sangakkara.
“Sri Lanka was among the first groups to come back and play Test cricket here. And as a fellow Sri Lankan and also as the president of the MCC plus a part of this tour, I am so happy that we’re able to do our part to try and encourage countries to look at Pakistan among the very greatest cricketing destinations.
“It’s been that in years past and I’m sure it’ll be that very soon.”
Before facing the Pakistan Shaheens in a 50-over fixture on 27, the MCC will contest a game against Lahore Qalandars in the Gaddafi Stadium on Friday.
The tourists – whose 12-man squad includes Ravi Bopara, Oliver Hannon-Dalby along with Ross Whiteley – will subsequently meet with Northern and Multan Sultans in games on February 17 and 19.
Wasim Khan, Pakistan Cricket Board chief executive, described the tour as a”enormous coup”.
“Until we break that barrier of having non-Asian countries coming, it is always going to be hard for us to make the very first step.
“However Kumar (Sangakkara) was adamant in the word go that Pakistan was a safe spot to come and play cricket. There is a necessity to attract back cricket to the nation, for the country, for the people, but also our sustainability as well as a country.”
When Michael Vaughan’s side suffered a defeat, with subsequent series in 2015/16 and 2011/12 being staged in the United Arab Emirates england haven’t played a Test series in Pakistan because 2005.
Pakistan completed their first Test series triumph on home soil year once they beat against Sri Lanka in Karachi.
Watch out for a special feature on the MCC’s tour of Pakistan on.