MCC tour of Pakistan will send a strong message to the world: Sangakkara
Sri Lanka’s legendary former batsman Kumar Sangakkara, in a press conference at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Thursday, claimed that the upcoming matches between the Marylebone Cricket Club’s (MCC’s) tour of Pakistan will send a strong message to the world.
The former batsman praised the people of Pakistan and its cuisine while revealing that he has always enjoyed batting in the country.
“Our matches in Pakistan will send a strong message to the world. People in Pakistan are very hospitable and the cuisine here is great. Bowlers face a tough time in Pakistan’s conditions. As a batsman I have always enjoyed playing here,” Sangakkara said.
The 42-year-old stated that Pakistan had an important role to play in the revival of international cricket in Sri Lanka and all countries in the world should help Pakistan in their time of need.
“I have fond memories attached with Pakistan. We are happy to play a role in the return of cricket to the country. Cricket is a sport that brings people closer. Pakistan has played an important role in bringing back international cricket to Sri Lanka. Everyone should play a role in bringing back international cricket to this country,” he said. “Home matches play an important role in the promotion of a sport in any country. International cricket needs a strong Pakistan team and that is why we need competitive matches to be staged in the country.”
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)'s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Wasim Khan claimed that the upcoming matches against the MCC team would help in gaining the trust of non-Asian countries around the world.
“The MCC’s arrival in Pakistan is a great step. The doors for international cricket’s return keep broadening in Pakistan. This tour will pave the way to earn the trust of the non-Asian countries around the world. Right now the circumstances will not allow a series against India,” Khan said.
The MCC will open its weeklong tour, its first in 48 years, with a 20-over match against Lahore Qalandars at the Gaddafi Stadium on February 14. Action will then shift to Aitchison College where the visitors will play Pakistan Shaheens in a 50-over fixture on February 16.
The MCC will then meet Northern and Multan Sultans in 20-over matches on February 17 and 19.