MCC to play one 50-over game, three T20s in Pakistan starting February 13

MCC to play one 50-over game, three T20s in Pakistan starting February 13

Kumar Sangakkara will lead MCC on tour.

Kumar Sangakkara
Kumar Sangakkara. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Pakistan has been slowly regaining its status as an international cricket host and the country’s cricket organizers are feeling excited over it. Pakistan remained sidelined as a host for over a decade following a terror attack on the touring Sri Lanka side in 2009 and it even lost the hosting rights of the 2011 World Cup. Recently, teams like Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have revisited the country for full-fledged tours while the Pakistan Super League (PSL) is also set to be held entirely on its soil this year.

Top officials of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) visited Pakistan last year to take stock of the situations for probable visits in the near future. They expressed satisfaction over the state of security and now, the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) is set to play one 50-over match and three T20 matches in Pakistan starting Thursday.

The first opponents of the MCC will be Lahore Qalandars of the PSL fame in a T20 and all the games will be played in Lahore, the Indian Express cited agencies as reporting. Pakistan Shaheens, on the other hand, will play MCC in a 50-over game at Aitchison College a couple of days later. Saud Shakeel, 24, will captain the home side.

The MCC team will then refocus on the T20s and their opponents will be domestic champions Northern and Multan Sultans of the PSL. The Sultans will feature England players Moeen Ali and James Vince in their squad. The tour will go on till February 19.

Sangakkara to lead MCC team

The MCC team will be led by former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara, who is currently the club’s president. The 12-man squad of the MCC will have the likes of Ravi Bopara, Ross Whiteley and Roelof van der Merwe.

“This tour of Pakistan will be a momentous occasion for everyone involved. We expect the standard of cricket to be high during this trip. The MCC squad possesses both international and extensive domestic experience which I am sure will prove strong opposition for some of Pakistan’s best-emerging cricketers.

“We hope that this tour helps contribute to the Pakistan Cricket Board’s wish of seeing international teams returning to tour the country on a regular basis,” MCC head coach Ajmal Shahzad, a former England international of Pakistani stock, was quoted as saying.

In 1955-56, an English team sponsored by the MCC had toured Pakistan to play 14 first-class matches under the leadership of Donald Carr and four of them were against the Pakistan national side.