For a long period after the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in March 2009, Kumar Sangakkara thought he would never go back to Pakistan to play cricket, but last night he set off again from Colombo to Lahore, a cricketer once more, on a journey that will rekindle memories, both good and shocking.
The team has arrived in Pakistan after 48 years on a seven-day tour. The sources say that the team will start its practice session at Qaddafi Stadium, Lahore. PCB Chief Executive Waseem Khan has said that he and Kumar Sangakkara will address a joint press conference.
He said “I have immensely wonderful memories of playing in Pakistan, especially Lahore. In the Asian Test Championship finals in 2002, playing against greats like Waqar Younis, also Shoaib Akhtar, Sami, Razzaq, Shoaib Malik, they all played alongside Inzamam”
Sanga said Sri Lanka first team to come back and play Test cricket in Pakistan & as a fellow Sri Lankan and MCC president i’m so happy we are able to do our part to try & encourage countries to look at Pakistan as one of the best cricketing destinations.”
When asked what his message was to other reluctant cricketing nations, the MCC president said that his side looked towards silencing critics with their performance.
“Rather than giving a direct message, I think the best way to send that message is by the way we play and the experience they get by watching us play,” said the former Sri Lankan skipper. “The MCC being here addresses the concerns that other cricketing nations held.”
A tour to Pakistan has been under discussion for some time, but it was seeing Khan’s enthusiasm, the arrangements and the improvements that have been made, that was an eye opener.
“For me personally, I have immensely wonderful memories of playing in Pakistan, especially Lahore,” he maintained.