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MCC to play against Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars, confirms PCB CEO Wasim Khan
MCC Tour of Pakistan

MCC to play against Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars, confirms PCB CEO Wasim Khan

The MCC team's fixtures in Lahore next month will feature encounters against Pakistan Super League franchises Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars, Pakistan Cricket Board Chief Executive Wasim Khan announced recently.

In a significant boost to the resumption of top-flight cricket in Pakistan, an MCC contingent will be travelling to Lahore in February to play four matches.

The tour was earlier finalised in December 2019 with former Sri Lanka skipper and current MCC president Kumar Sangakkara confirmed to lead the team.

With the likes of Ravi Bopara, Samit Patel and Moeen Ali also expected to join the Ajmal Shahzad-coached MCC, the tour promises to be an exciting spectacle for Pakistan fans.

The tentative tour itinerary consists of matches against Pakistan Shaheens and National T20 Cup title-holders Northern at the Gaddafi Stadium.

The visitors will subsequently compete against Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars at Aitchison College.

Both PSL sides enjoy widespread support, though they are the only two teams in the competition's history to have failed to qualify for the playoffs.

"The MCC team will arrive on February 13 and will stay till 19. Kumar Sangakkara will captain the side. Other prominent cricketers will also accompany him including Ravi Bopara, Samit Patel and Moeen Ali," Wasim told reporters in Lahore.

"MCC will play two matches at the Gaddafi Stadium against Pakistan Shaheens, which includes Rohail Nazir and Haider Ali, and Northern, the National T20 Cup champions."

"They will then play two games at Aitchison College against Multan Sultans and Lahore Qalandars, providing them match practice ahead of the Pakistan Super League."

The trio of English cricketers part of the MCC side - Bopara, Patel and Moeen - will later out in the PSL as well.

Bopara and Moeen have signed up for the Sultans while Patel will ply his trade for the Qalandars, having previously represented Islamabad United.

'Aim to host ICC global tournaments by 2023-2024'

Meanwhile, Wasim informed that negotiations were underway with Cricket South Africa regarding the Proteas' upcoming T20 tour of Pakistan.

"We are currently in talks with South Africa and hopefully it will bring good results for us when we hear from them in the next three-four weeks."

Wasim noted the major strides made by the PCB in reviving international cricket in Pakistan with the Test homecoming against Sri Lanka indicative of the changing times.

"Everything is moving in the right direction. PSL will be conducted in its entirety in Pakistan across the four venues."

"One year ago we were striving to revive Test cricket in Pakistan and now we have been able to achieve that. Our Future Tours Programme (FTP) is also very promising October onwards with series organised against New Zealand, England, Australia and South Africa. We are gradually building our credibility in the international arena," he added.

Wasim concluded by saying the PCB would ramp up its efforts to claim hosting rights for ICC-sanctioned events.

He said the possibility of an ICC tournament taking place in Pakistan would arise in a few years' time.

"There are 30 ICC tournaments in the next eight-year cycle. We are trying to get the hosting rights of one Under-19s tournament, one women's tournament and one men's event.

"We will definitely make the bid for the competitions and hope to host ICC global tournaments by 2023-2024."