England, Australia should help in bringing international cricket back to Pakistan: Sangakkara

In February, Kumar Sangakkara had travelled to Lahore for Marylebone Cricket Club’s Pakistan tour for a documentary called 'MCC: On tour in Lahore'.

Kumar Sangakkara

“It is hugely important to support cricket in countries such as Pakistan,” says the now-retired Kumar Sangakkara.   -  FILE PHOTO/ GETTY IMAGES

MCC president Kumar Sangakkara has advocated a revival of international cricket in Pakistan, calling on powerhouses like England and Australia to take the leading role in this endeavour.

Sangakkara was part of the Sri Lankan team, which was attacked by terrorists in 2009 near the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, but he says returning to Pakistan and playing cricket for the MCC, which is the custodian of cricket laws, was a good decision earlier this year.

In February, the Sri Lankan legend had travelled to Lahore for Marylebone Cricket Club’s Pakistan tour for a documentary called MCC: On tour in Lahore.

“It doesn’t matter an Asian side going there or a secondary side in terms of world prominence when it comes to having security measures in place,” Sangakkara told The Cricket Show on Sky Sports Cricket.

“I think it’s important that England or Australia, even South Africa, make up their minds to actually tour when security is assured and they have those discussions; the MCC tour will be a precursor to that.”

READ | Australia restricts use of saliva, sweat to shine ball under COVID-19 guidelines

The MCC had won a 20-over match against Lahore Qalandars before losing by five wickets to the Pakistan Shaheens in a 50-over fixture two days later.

“It’s a funny thing. When I thought I’d go back to Pakistan after 2009 I was pretty sure it would not be to play cricket but here we were, 10 years down the line...

“I was there after having retired donning my cricket gear on and playing in front of what I remember to be one of the best venues I’ve ever played at with so much support,” he said.

England last played a Test series in Pakistan in 2005 and since then Pakistan has played its home series at neutral venues against prominent teams.

Sangakkara said a full-fledged tour was not possible at this stage.

ALSO READ | Langer: Ultimate goal is to beat India in its backyard

“I don’t think you are ever going to see in the near future a five-Test match series coupled with a one-day series played back-to-back.

“I think it will be more a case of you play two Test matches, you take a break, you go back and play three one-dayers,” he said.

“A strong Pakistan side playing in front of their home crowds is one of the best things that can happen to world cricket,” he added

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos