Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) is all set to send a strong twelve-man squad to Pakistan next month under the captaincy of MCC President Kumar Sangakkara. The team will play a series of matches with two PSL teams – Lahore Qalandarsand Multan Sultans – in the T20 format. MCC team will also face Pakistan’s domestic T20 champions Northern in the series.
MCC World Cricket Committee is showing their support to for the Pakistan Cricket Board and fans. It is an attempt to take international cricket back to the Pakistan after almost a decade of exile. Since, the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus a decade ago the international teams have feared to tour and play cricket in Pakistan. In the last decade only Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and West Indies have visited Pakistan that too only once.
MCC’s squad will include experienced all-rounder Ravi Bopara from England along with Warwickshire’s three players in the form of Michael Burgess, Oliver Hannon-Dalby and Will Rhodes. Somerset’s Roelof van der Merwe is also named alongside his Netherlands teammate Fred Klaassen with Scotland duo Michael Leask and Safyaan Sharif, Leicestershire’s Arron Lilley, Kent’s Imran Qayyum and Worcestershire’s Ross Whiteley completing the squad.
The trio – Liam Dawson, Samit Patel and Phil Salt – who will also be a part of Pakistan Super League (PSL) are also named in the squad and their involvement is part of a collaboration between MCC and the tournament organisers.
Announcing the squad John Stephenson, MCC Assistant Secretary (Cricket)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. As a Club, we share the PCB’s wish in wanting to see international teams returning to play in Pakistan on a regular basis and we hope that this tour contributes to those objectives.”
MCC Team is as follows:
MCC: Kumar Sangakkara (capt), Ravi Bopara, Michael Burgess, Oliver Hannon-Dalby, Fred Klaassen, Michael Leask, Arron Lilley, Imran Qayyum, Will Rhodes, Safyaan Sharif, Roelof van der Merwe, Ross Whiteley.