Kumar Sangakkara to lead MCC squad to visit Pakistan


LAHORE: Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara will lead the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) squad for their visit to Pakistan next month.

Sangakkara, who is the president of MCC, would be captaining the club’s 12-man squad on the Feb 13 to 19 tour during which the visitors will play a one-off one-dayer and a Twenty20 match against Pakistan Shaheen and Northern sides, respectively. All the games will be staged in Lahore.

The PCB has already announced its Pakistan Shaheen and Northern squads for the matches against the visiting MCC team which will also face two franchises of the Pakistan Super League — Lahore Qalandhars and Multan Sultans — in one T20 match each.

MCC’s squad includes experienced all-rounder Ravi Bopara. Warwickshire contribute three players to the squad — Michael Burgess, Oliver Hannon-Dalby and Will Rhodes.

Somerset’s Roelof van der Merwe, who will play for Lord’s-based London Spirit in the inaugural Hundred competition later this year, is named alongside his Netherlands team-mate Fred Klaassen.

Scotland duo Michael Leask and Safyaan Sharif, Leicestershire’s Arron Lilley, Kent’s Imran Qayyum and Worcestershire’s Ross Whiteley complete the MCC squad.

MCC’s on-field presence will be boosted further by three additional players, each of whom will play one match for the Club during the tour. The trio — Liam Dawson, Samit Patel and Phil Salt — are preparing to represent teams in this year’s PSL and their involvement is part of a collaboration between MCC and the tournament organisers.

Meanwhile, MCC assistant secretary cricket John Stephenson said: “We are thrilled to be able to name a strong squad for this tour, which blends youth and experience for a strong side of high quality.

“We have really appreciated the collaborative approach from the Pakistan Cricket Board and the Pakistan Super League, which has enabled us to arrange fixtures against sides preparing for this year’s PSL tournament as well as to secure the services of some of those participating.”

MCC chief executive and secretary Guy Lavender will accompany the squad as manager while Ajmal Shahzad will be their head coach.

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