The Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) president Kumar Sangakkara will lead the club for a cricket tour to Lahore in February next year, playing a number of matches in the city.
The tour has been planned after the MCC World Cricket committee’s members had expressed their interest in helping Pakitan to come out of its exile from hosting international cricket in the country.
Following a terror attack on touring Sri Lankan cricket team’s bus in Lahore in 2009, Pakistan hosted all its home Test matches at the United Arab Emirates (UAE), till Sri Lanka agreed to visit the country for a two-match series, part of the ICC World Test Championship, which began last week.
Sangakkara, who himself was a part of the Sri Lankan team that faced the attack, highlighted the importance of supporting Pakistan cricket in their hard times and also lauded the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for their effort to create a safe landscape to mark Test cricket’s return.
Also, expressing his excitement to lead MCC he said, “I am excited to be captaining MCC on the tour to Pakistan. 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.”
Guy Lavender, MCC Chief Executive & Secretary was quoted as saying in a statement, “The people of Pakistan have been starved of seeing their team play at home for a decade and it is wonderful to see that Test cricket has recently returned to the country.”
“As a Club, one of MCC’s priorities is to maintain its global relevance on the game by supporting countries in their provision for cricket, and we are united with the global game in wanting to see international teams returning to play in Pakistan,” Lavender added.
“Following months of dialogue, and the opportunity to put Pakistan’s compelling case forward to the prestigious and important MCC World Cricket committee, I am delighted that MCC has confirmed that it will send a touring team to Lahore in February,” PCB Chief Executive said.
Full-scale international cricket returned to Pakistan after Sri Lanka visited the country to take part in three-match One-Day International (ODI) and Twenty-2O International (T20I) series in October this year.
Reportedly, the PCB is also planning to host South Africa and Bangladesh in the upcoming months.