Kumar Sangakkara, wounded in 2009, makes poignant return to Pakistan attack scene

Kumar Sangakkara, wounded in 2009, makes poignant return to Pakistan attack scene

LAHORE: Sri Lanka great Kumar Sangakkara will relive his fateful 2009 journey to Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium on Friday after returning for the primary time since the deadly attack which plunged Pakistan into cricket isolation.

Sangakkara is captaining England's venerable MCC for four games in Lahore, where he was wounded during a militant attack on the Sri Lankan team that left eight people dead in March 2009.

International cricket is merely now returning to Pakistan, who hosted Sri Lanka late last year for his or her first home Test series since the guns-and-rocket attack.

Sangakkara, 42, suffered shrapnel wounds to his shoulder and narrowly escaped a bullet which whistled past his head because the Sri Lankan players lay pinned down on the ground of the team bus.

But Sangakkara, who is additionally the president of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), said Pakistan was slowly restoring its reputation as a secure destination for visiting teams.

"Security is usually a serious concern everywhere within the world," he said after arriving in Lahore on Thursday.

"I think the steps that are taken in Pakistan over the past few years have instilled an excellent amount of confidence within the cricketing nations. 

"I think slowly and surely that confidence is build up and therefore the more times international sides tour, that message becomes stronger and harder to ignore."

The few international games in Pakistan are guarded by tight security, with snipers on rooftops, roads sealed and heavily armed patrols.

But Sangakkara, one among the world's best batsmen of the past 20 years , said playing in Lahore sends out a strong symbol.

"I think the simplest thing is to send the message by the way we play on the sector ," said Sangakkara. 

"I am happy that we are ready to play our part to undertake and encourage countries to seem at Pakistan together of the simplest cricket destinations. 

"It has been within the past and that i am sure it'll be that again very soon."

The MCC will open their tour with a Twenty20 match in Lahore on Friday. The remaining matches also will be played within the city on February 16, 17 and 19.