Kumar Sangakkara, captain of the 12-man squad to tour Pakistan, feels that kids in Pakistan might lose hunger to play the game should they be starved of cricket at home for too long. Sangakkara further attested that he’s in the country to ensure Pakistan is back on the cricketing map.
Kumar Sangakkara, who is the president of MCC and is all set to lead an MCC team for a week-long tour to Pakistan, believes that home cricket holds a lot of importance and if not fed with enough, the hunger might go away among the youngsters who wish to pursue the game. The wicket-keeper batsman feels that cricket belongs to everyone and the youth should be inspired to take up this game.
“So if there is no home cricket for a very long period of time, there is a danger that sometime that kind of hunger might go away. The more cricket that you play here at home, the more times young children and the fabulous fans of Pakistan can see their side, their players play in front of them, within almost touching distance,” said Sangakkara, reported Cricbuzz.
“Cricket belongs to everyone, but for the players to have that platform and display their skills you need to have that support,” Sangakkara said in Lahore. “The fact is that you need to have an underpinning of youth who can be inspired to take up the game.”
The former Sri Lankan skipper further said its difficult to put into words what a strong Pakistan brings to world cricket, and how important it is to tell the world that touring Pakistan is now safe.
“Rather than a direct message by saying something to them, the best thing that we can do is send that message by the way we play in the field,” Sangakkara said. “The more times international sides tour that message becomes stronger and becomes harder to ignore
“I think that is wonderful for the game, it is wonderful for the country and it’s great for the global game. We should not lose sight of how important the strength of Pakistan is in that big picture of having global cricket in a very, very healthy and strong state.”
“The MCC tour is a part of completing that puzzle, and I think this is a great step by everyone to combine and to be here to again try and encourage sides to come back and play cricket in Pakistan.”
MCC will play four T20 matches in the country, starting on Friday, 14 February. Competing alongside the MCC are the Pakistan Shaheens, captained by Saud Shakeel, and the Rohail Nazir-led Northern.