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February 14, 2020

MCC team arrives for One-day, T20 matches: Sangakkara rates Pakistan among best cricketing destinations

 
February 14, 2020

LAHORE: Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) captain and former Sri Lanka legend Kumar Sangakkara has declared Pakistan as is one of the best cricketing destinations.

Addressing press conference Kumar Sangakkara said: “I’m so happy that we’re able to do our part to try and encourage countries to look at Pakistan as one of the best cricketing destinations. It has been that in the past and I’m sure it will be that again very soon.” Sangakkara-led MCC team reached Lahore on Thursday morning to play a series of one-day and T20 matches from February 14 to 19.

He said “I have immensely wonderful memories of playing in Pakistan, especially Lahore. In the Asian Test Championship finals in 2002, playing against greats like Waqar Younis, also Shoaib Akhtar, Sami, Razzaq, Shoaib Malik, they all played alongside Inzamam.” Sanga reminded that Sri Lanka was the first team to come back and play Test cricket in Pakistan & as a fellow Sri Lankan and MCC president he is so happy for that. “We are able to do our part to try and encourage countries to look at Pakistan as one of the best cricketing destinations.”

“It’s vital to have home games. Cricket belongs to everyone. You need to have youngsters getting inspired to take up the game. If there is no home cricket then there is a danger that kind of hunger might go away”

“The more cricket you play at home, the more times young children & the fabulous fans of Pakistan can see their team, their players play in front of them within almost touching distance. That’s great for the game and the country, and for the global game” Sangakkara was part of the Sri Lankan team that was attacked in Lahore in 2009 but has been vocal about his support for the return of international cricket to Pakistan. “The best way to send a message to teams is to by playing here,” said Sangakkara.

“The messages that we sent out, not just by what we say but what we do, is very important. Security is always a major concern.

In Pakistan, the steps that have been taken over the past few years have instilled great amounts of confidence in the cricketing nations beyond the shores of Pakistan.” The MCC side is set to play 20-over games against Pakistan Super League (PSL) sides Lahore Qalandars and Multan Sultans among others. Earlier After a gap of 47 years, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) made their visit to Pakistan on Thursday to play three T20’s and one ODI matches against Pakistan A team along with different clubs.

Veteran Sri Lankan player Kumar Sangakkara is leading the team while other players include Ravi Bopara, Michael Burgess, Oliver Hannon-Dalby, Fred Klaassen, Michael Leask, Arron Lilley, Imran Qayyum, Will Rhodes, Safyaan Sharif, Roelof van der Merwe, Ross Whiteley.

Complete tour schedule: February 14: Lahore Qalandars v MCC (T20) at Gaddafi Stadium.

February 16: Pakistan Shaheens v MCC (50 overs) at Aitchison College.

February 17: Northern v MCC (T20) at Aitchison College.

February 19: Multan Sultans v MCC (T20) at Aitchison College.