Kumar Sangakkara might return to Pakistan for the primary time for the reason that Lahore assaults 10 years in the past, this time as MCC president. Sangakkara was a part of the Sri Lanka touring group that was attacked by terrorists on the way in which to Gaddafi stadium for the third day’s play in March 2009, an assault that successfully spelt the tip of worldwide cricket being performed within the nation.
He has not made a public return since however in his new function as MCC president, he might do if the MCC resolve to ship a touring group to Pakistan. “Sure, if the chance arises and the tour positively goes forward I’d be a part of it for positive,” Sangakkara instructed ESPNcricinfo.
Sangakkara was not solely on the bus that was attacked on the way in which from the group resort, however he was injured by shrapnel within the course of – one in every of six gamers injured. He has since spoken with some humour about the attack and has mentioned, earlier than turning into MCC President, that the choice to tour Pakistan ought to be right down to the person.
No aspect toured Pakistan for the subsequent six years, till Zimbabwe broke that drought by taking part in a restricted overs collection in Might 2015. Since then there was a gradual enhance within the variety of high-profile and worldwide video games within the nation. A World XI performed a T20I collection in 2017; West Indies did likewise in 2018. The PSL has held its ultimate video games in Pakistan during the last two seasons and the PCB desires to play a lot of the league within the nation this season.
Most lately, Sri Lanka – who additionally performed a solitary T20I in Lahore in 2017 – performed six worldwide video games in Lahore and Karachi, the longest go to by a global aspect on this final decade. That was a aspect shorn of a lot of main gamers however doubtlessly, Sri Lanka is also taking part in at the least one Check in Pakistan in December
At this stage, a tour by the MCC is far from confirmed, however suggestions from Sri Lanka’s go to has been good.
“It is nice to see Sri Lanka tour Pakistan and the suggestions that it was such an incredible tour, it was pretty, the gamers actually loved it,” Sangakkara mentioned. “The safety was very, very tight and so they supplied each single facility for the Sri Lanka group. The MCC has been discussing an MCC tour to Pakistan as nicely, Wasim Khan [PCB CEO] has been with us in lots of shows on the World Cricket Committee and presenting us with numerous plans when it comes to safety and in any other case as to how that tour can go forward.
“So there’s a whole lot of optimistic chat and dialog round it and if they’ll handle that, that will likely be distinctive. I imply Pakistan is doing an enormous quantity of labor to make sure that it’s a secure place for nations to tour. I am positive slowly however certainly cricket will return to Pakistan and gamers from Pak will be capable of play in entrance of their dwelling crowd.”