Misbah-ul-Haq, Kumar Sangakkara to play for MCC against Afghanistan


London, July 2 (TNS): Former Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq along with Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara and Shivnarine Chanderpaul will represent MCC in a match against Afghanistan at Lord’s on July 11.

Misbah has been one of the most successful captains for Pakistan and Sangakkara has been in red hot form for Surrey even after his retirement and has smashed many batting records in the county circuit.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul too has been plying his trade for Guyana in the Regional competition back in West Indies even after he hung up his boots in the International circuit.

This match promises to be a real feast for cricket fans as along with the aforementioned players, former New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum is part of the star-studded side and will also captain the side.

England all-rounder Samit Patel and former wicketkeeper Chris Read, the Ireland duo of Tim Murtagh and George Dockrell along with Surrey’ s Stuart Meaker and Durham seamer Chris Rushworth complete the bowling attack.

Former Pakistan batsman Younis Khan was in the initial team, but he withdrew his name. His replacement is yet to be announced.

Afghanistan and Ireland were approved Full Members by the ICC, and thus they were installed as the 11th and 12th Test-playing nations.

The rise of Afghanistan has been very inspirational ever since they gained ODI status back in 2009 with a sixth-place finish at that year’s World Cup Qualifier in South Africa.

They followed three consecutive promotions over the previous year when they began in Division Five of the World Cricket League.

This will be a huge opportunity for Afghanistan as they will be able to test themselves against a formidable opponent at a historic venue in Lord’s and it will give them an opportunity to test themselves before they eventually get to play their inaugural Test match.

The ICC has done a great job as it included Ireland and Afghanistan into the Test fold and this match against the MCC side should be another significant step in instilling confidence into the Afghanistan side which has been doing a great job in all the lower divisions thus far.