In what could be a historic moment for war-torn Afghanistan at the Home of Cricket, Lord’s they would face Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) on July 11 (Tuesday) as the former skipper of Sri Lanka Kumar Sangakkara will feature for MCC team.
The wicket-keeper batsman Sangakkara has expressed his satisfaction of being nominated to play for MCC as he was further excited to face-off against Afghanistan.
“I am very excited to be playing against Afghanistan at Lord’s this summer,” Sangakkara told Lord’s official website.
The other player in MCC side includes former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum in the One-day competition as it would also be the first game of Afghanistan players to play a game at Lord’s.
Sangakkara has opined that he would be happy to see Afghanistan achieving a Test status by leaving a resounding impact in the field of cricket as he feels they are working hard to achieve the feat.
“I do hope that they will very soon attain Test status and contribute to improve and become a lasting fixture on the elite world cricketing stage,” Sangakkara asserted.
The prolific batsman Sangakkara further revealed Afghanistan cricket has come as a potent force to reckon which has produced the star in the making in the form of leg-spinner Rashid Khan.
However, it was also the first time when Afghans players featured in the recently concluded tenth edition of Indian Premier League (IPL), which has been regarded as lucrative league following its success since past 10 years.
All-rounder and former Afghanistan skipper Mohammad Nabi and leg-spinner Rashid Khan were the part of IPL franchise-led by David Warner.
“They have stood tall against adversity and come out as a potent cricketing force capable of upsetting the best of sides in the shorter versions of the game,” Sangakkara remarked.
The 39-year-old Matale-born left-handed batsman, who has been giving best with his bat in the English County season, has hailed Afghanistan players adding they have shown quality improvement.
Sangakkara has been significant with the bat for Surrey side which had qualified for the quarter-final match in the Royal London One-day Cup. He scored 321 runs at the staggering average of 80.25.
Showing the progress in the 50-over format, Afghanistan has a lot to boast about which includes a dramatic six-run win in Nagpur, over the WINDIES (West Indies) in the Twenty20 World Cup fixture.
“I have a great respect and admiration for the Afghan cricketers as individuals and as a team,” Sangakkara maintained.
In 2016, MCC was thrashed by Nepal as the stadium witnessed around 6,000 spectators had turned to the stadium.
Sangakkara, who will retire from the first-class cricket after 2017 County season, has had enjoyed a remarkable run for Surrey, where he smashed five consecutive hundreds as he is averaging 109.50 in the 2017 Specsavers County Championship.
Sangakkara had amassed 12,400 runs in 134 Tests at an average of 57.40. In 404 matches, he scored 14,234 runs at an average of 41.98 which included 25 hundreds and 93 fifties.