International Test cricket returned to Pakistan after a hiatus of ten years with Sri Lanka becoming the first team to tour the terror-ravaged nation for a two-match five-day rubber. The Pakistan Cricket Board has taken giant strides in reviving cricket back on home soil in the past few months.
And, in another significant development, it has now been confirmed that former Sri Lankan captain and champion batsman Kumar Sangakkara will be leading a Marylebone Cricket Club [MCC] XI, who will be touring Pakistan for a series of matches to be played in Lahore in February, next year, the cricket club announced on Wednesday.
The concept of touring Pakistan by the MCC has been the cricket’s oldest club’s long-stated desire of its working committee, of helping revive cricket back in the terror-ravaged nation. Earlier this year, at its World committee meeting, the MCC had re-affirmed their support in seeing touring sides’ return to Pakistan, given the security conditions were met as per the required standards, after a presentation and discussion with the Chief Executive of the Pakistan Cricket Board, Wasim Khan.
Kumar Sangakkara excited at the prospect of playing cricket in Pakistan again
Interestingly, Kumar Sangakkara was the part of the Sri Lankan side which was attacked by the terrorists in Lahore on that fateful day of March 03, 2009. But the former captain is very excited at the prospect of coming back to Pakistan and play cricket again.
“It is hugely important to support cricket in countries such as Pakistan, and the PCB has done a tremendous job in rebuilding the international cricketing landscape since the tragic events of 2009. I am excited to be captaining MCC on the tour to Pakistan,” Kumar Sangakkara was quoted as saying by islandcricket.
With international cricket having returned for the first time in a decade, it is wonderful the Club is doing its part to strengthen cricket in Pakistan and I look forward to being part of the trip,” he added.
All of the MCC’s games during their tour of Pakistan will be played at Aitcheson College in Lahore. Guy Lavender has been named as the manager of the side while the MCC Head Coach Ajmal Shahzad will coach the set-up.
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