Sangakkara suggests Australia, England to tour Pakistan
About 11 years ago, former Sri Lanka captain, Kumar Sangakkara, saw spot death in front of his eyes in Pakistan. Sri Lankan cricket team was subjected to terror attacks near Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. Sangakkara himself was also injured.
Terrorists attacked a bus carrying a Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore. Since the attack, foreign teams have not dared to visit Pakistan. However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is trying its best to take foreign teams to Pakistan.
However, the Sri Lankan legend is now encouraging teams like Australia and England to go to Pakistan. Sangakkara, is a president of the traditional Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC). So his words have a different value. He thinks the big teams should go to Pakistan to play now.
Sangakkara is not saying that without going himself. The Sri Lankan batting legend toured Pakistan for the MCC team in February. The country’s security system, the interest of the audience has fascinated him. Sri Lanka is helping Pakistan to return to cricket the most. They played a Test series there last November, the first Test on Pakistani soil since 2009.
Bangladesh has also extended a helping hand. They played a Test in Rawalpindi last February and also played a T20 series. They were supposed to go to the Pakistan again for an ODI and a Test. That was not possible because of coronavirus.
However, Sangakkara thinks that Asian teams will not be the only ones to play. Teams like Australia, England and even South Africa have to come forward to bring cricket back to Pakistan.
“When it comes to security, it’s not going to change much if only Asian teams or second tier teams play there,” Sangakkara said.
“I think England, Australia and even South Africa should consider going there to play. If they want to discuss it, the MCC tour will be helpful.”
However, the former batsman, who has scored 28,000 international runs for Sri Lanka, admits that it is not yet time for him to tour Pakistan for a long time.
“I don’t think there will be an ODI series with a five-match Test series ahead,” he said. “I think if you play two Tests there, then take another break and go for another three-match ODI series, that’s how it can be played.”
Sangakkara added, “Now is not the time for a big tour. But I am sure if there is good communication and understanding, the players can go there and play quality cricket. That will be great and cricket will return to Pakistan.”