Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has invited Pakistan's legendary batsman Javed Miandad and Sri Lanka's Bandula Warnapura as special guests for the momentous Test match in Rawalpindi that is set to commence from December 11.
Miandad and Warnapura captained their respective sides in the very first Test match between the two cricket-loving countries and that groundbreaking Test was held at the iconic National Stadium, Karachi in March 1982.
They will grace the historic occasion with their presence as international Test cricket is set to return to Pakistan after a 10-year-hiatus. Miandad and Warnapura will partake in a photo-shot at the trophy unveiling ceremony which is scheduled on the eve of the first Test.
PCB chairman Ehsan Mani expressed his gratitude to the accomplished cricketers for accepting the invitation and shed light on the importance of the day that marks the return of Test cricket in Pakistan.
“I am most grateful to the two distinguished cricketers for accepting our invitation to attend the historic occasion despite their busy schedules. This means a lot to Pakistan and its cricket followers across the globe. December 11 will be a very special day in Pakistan cricket history and it is appropriate that it is celebrated with Bandula Warnapura and Javed Miandad on our side. They are icons of cricket, whose services to the game are unmatched,” Mani said.
The incumbent PCB chairman said the board plans on involving the members of cricket fraternity in the future as well, now that international cricket doors have opened as Sri Lanka tour has harbingered more competitive cricket in Pakistan.
“The PCB respects and values all its international cricketers and this is a small token of our love, appreciation and respect for them. The PCB will continue to acknowledge and hold similar events for others cricketers as we are now on road to hosting regular international cricket at home,” Mani added.
Miandad played 124 Tests for Pakistan and scored 8832 runs at an average of 52.57. He had a penchant for scoring big runs which is corroborated by his 23 centuries and 42 fifties.
He is famously remembered for his heroics in a thrilling ODI against India in 1986 that Pakistan won with the help of Miandad's last-ball six that sent the crowd in Sharjah into a frenzy. On the other hand, Warnapura took charge of Sri Lanka team when they were new to Test cricket and were still finding their feet at international level.