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Sangakkara to captain MCC side for Pakistan tour in February
MCC Tour of Pakistan

Sangakkara to captain MCC side for Pakistan tour in February

Kumar Sangakkara will lead an MCC team, which will play a number of matches in Lahore next year.

This will be MCC's first tour to Pakistan since 1973 as the club's World Cricket Committee has stepped up its efforts to take top-flight cricket back to the South Asian nation.

Pakistan is currently engaged in a two-Test series with the touring Sri Lankan team - their first red-ball assignment on home soil since the 2009 militant attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore.

In line with recent developments that has seen international cricket gradually return to Pakistan, MCC had conducted a full security assessment before giving the green signal for the tour.

Sangakkara, MCC president, spoke on the importance of the tour paving the way for future international tours to Pakistan.

“It is hugely important to support cricket in countries such as Pakistan, and the PCB has done a tremendous job in rebuilding the international cricketing landscape since the tragic events of 2009," the former Sri Lankan skipper said.

“I am excited to be captaining MCC on the tour to Pakistan. With international cricket having returned for the first time in a decade, it is wonderful the Club is doing its part to strengthen cricket in Pakistan and I look forward to being part of the trip.”

All the games will be held at Aitchison College in Lahore with MCC Chief Executive and Secretary Guy Lavender fulfilling duties as the team manager.

The 34-year-old speedster, Ajmal Shahzad, has been named as the MCC side's coach.

PCB chief executive Wasim Khan confirmed the process of convincing the MCC to send its contingent had lasted several months and believed this illustrated good security conditions in Pakistan.

“Following months of dialogue, and the opportunity to put Pakistan’s compelling case forward to the prestigious and important MCC World Cricket committee, I am delighted that MCC has confirmed that it will send a touring team to Lahore in February.

“The decision by the world’s oldest and most influential cricket club to send a quality team is further testament that Pakistan is as safe and secure a country as any other cricket-playing nation in the world, and MCC’s tour is a further step forward in normalising team tours to Pakistan.

“The PCB looks forward to welcoming the MCC cricket team and we fully expect the squad to have a thoroughly enjoyable time.”