Former Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara has pulled out of the MCC squad for this week’s Emirates Airline Twenty20 after suffering an ankle injury.

The 38-year-old batsman/wicket-keeper was named in the 12-man party, captained by England international Ian Bell for the one-day tournament at Dubai’s Sevens Stadium this Friday. However he will now undergo surgery this week and hopes to be fit for Surrey ahead of the new English domestic season in April.

“Kumar has injured his ankle and he needs to sort it out before the Surrey season,” said Sangakkara’s agent, Charlie Austin.

“So next week he is having surgery. This is very disappointing for him and for his UAE fans, so he is planning on taking part in next year’s Emirates Airline Twenty20 playing for the MCC in Dubai again.” 

With the tournament also featuring the UAE, Lancashire and defending champions Yorkshire while England’s Samit Patel and Tim Bresnan will also be in action, Sport Arabia’s managing director Matthew Jackson insists there’s plenty to look forward to with tickets still available.

“It’s a shame that Kumar will not be attending the Emirates Airline Twenty20 as he is a world class player,” he said. “However, cricket fans and families can still look forward to a first-class day out this Friday watching top teams with over 15 international cricket stars taking part such as Ian Bell, Samit Patel, Graham Onions and Gary Ballance.

“The ticket sales have been going very well and within the next 24 hours, the brunch tickets look set to be sold out. There are plenty of general tickets remaining.”

He added: “The Sevens Ground is the perfect venue for cricket fans to get close to the action. It’s a true family event where children and adults can enjoy the fun, get close to the stars at autograph signing sessions and watch some of the best players in the world. 

“Cricket in the UAE is going from strength-to-strength and it will be fascinating to see whether the UAE can triumph over their English opposition.

 “This is a real chance for youngsters in the UAE to come along and see their heroes up close and hopefully they’ll be inspired to be the cricket stars of the future.”

General entry costs Dh35, while it’s free admission for under-12s. Additionally, premium brunch tickets are also available, varying between Dh95 and Dh395.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.emiratest20.com/tickets