English cricketer Dawid Malan has disclosed that Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene convinced him to tour Pakistan for the final of Pakistan Super League. Malan, Peshawar Zalmi’s opening batsman, told The Times UK that conversation with Sri Lankan duo of Sangakkara and Jayawardene persuaded him to visit Lahore. “I’d say 80 per cent...
English cricketer Dawid Malan has disclosed that Sri Lankan Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene convinced him to tour Pakistan for the final of Pakistan Super League.
Malan, Peshawar Zalmi’s opening batsman, told The Times UK that conversation with Sri Lankan duo of Sangakkara and Jayawardene persuaded him to visit Lahore.
“I’d say 80 per cent of the overseas players were totally against it. They were saying ‘you’d be stupid to go’, and all that.” Malan was quoted in the article by Mike Atherton.
“But it was a conversation I had with Mahela Jayawardena and Kumar Sangakkara that persuaded me. These guys had been involved with that attack in 2009 and if they were saying it should be safe, and the security would be sufficient, then I thought I’d be fine,” he said.
Malan also revealed that his mother was not at all happy with his decision to tour Pakistan.
“Once I heard about the security arrangements I was pretty keen to go, but my mum wasn’t particularly happy and, although Middlesex and the ECB were relaxed about me making my own mind up, I had to sign a disclaimer in case anything happened. It made me think twice,” Malan told Atherton.
Malan said that although players were provided “danger money” by the organizers, but he made his mind because he was convinced that visit by the players would help Pakistan bringing back cricket to home grounds.
“We made the decision to go about 11am on Saturday morning. I didn’t want to be the only overseas player going, so it was quite a big thing when Darren Sammy, our captain, said he’d go. He was also important in the negotiations. They paid us ‘danger money’ to go, and initially they tried to rank us according to the value of our initial contracts for the tournament. Darren told the organizers that we should all be paid the same amount,” Malan revealed.
“One of the major things we talked to the organizers about was why we were going. Was it a publicity stunt? Were we there just so the board could make money? The answer we kept getting was that it was about helping international cricket return to Pakistan, the first step in that process. I felt it was good to go for that reason and if we’ve played a small part in helping bring cricket back, then great,” he added.
He also praised the security arrangements made for the players during the PSL final and termed the arrangements as phenomenal.
“It was just phenomenal, almost unbelievable, really. We got off the plane, straight into an armoured vehicle and bypassed immigration. On the route to the hotel, we had four or five armoured vehicles in front and behind us, as well as by our sides. There were road blocks everywhere and a journey that would normally take 40 minutes, took about eight.
“At the Pearl Continental [the hotel in Lahore] there were armed guards everywhere which was a bit unnerving. I opened my door on the Sunday morning to get my bags and there were four armed guards outside standing with guns by their side. They whisked us to the ground when the time came and after the match we flew straight out. I didn’t feel in any danger at all.” Malan said.