Kumar Sangakkara, the current president of the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC), said that the 2009 terror attack has changed the perspective of his life and gave him a lot of life lessons as well. The horrifying incident took place way before in 2009. As the Sri Lankan team bus approached the Gaddafi Stadium on March 3, 2009, for the second Test against Pakistan, they were attacked by 12 terrorists on the Liberty Roundabout which left six policemen and two civilians dead, including the driver of the minibus which was carrying the match officials.
“I don’t think I need any flashbacks, because I remember that day and those moments so very clearly,” Sangakkara told ESPNcricinfo. “It’s not something I relive or wallow in. But it’s an experience you should never forget, because it gives you perspective in terms of life and sport, and you learn a lot about your own values and characters, and those of others.”
“I have no reservations about talking about it, it’s not something that upsets me, but these sorts of experiences can only strengthen you. Today I consider myself very fortunate to be able to come back here to Lahore, and at the same time remember the sacrifice of all those who lost their lives that day,” he added.
The former Sri Lanka captain thought that he would never return to Lahore after the attack, but recently international cricket has returned to Pakistan as well. However, as MCC president, felt to lead a team in the nation will help them.
“Our message is very simple,” said Kumar Sangakkara. “We are here because we are confident that we will have a great tour. There’s been a huge effort by Wasim Khan (managing director) at the PCB, and the government, to get us here, and once we are able to show that this tour has gone off successfully, that message will resonate beyond Pakistan, and go a long way towards strengthening the purpose of other sides who are making the decision to come back.
“These things take time. You have to build confidence by sending the right message then you need the right protocols and the right arrangements in place. But it’s great to see it all gathering momentum. More and more teams are talking about it, and more teams are coming back,” he added.
MCC squad: Kumar Sangakkara (c), 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.