New Zealand To Tour Pakistan After Almost 18 Years To Play 3 ODIs, 5 T20Is
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New Zealand To Tour Pakistan After Almost 18 Years To Play 3 ODIs, 5 T20Is

New Zealand Cricket Team
New Zealand Cricket Team-AFP

New Zealand will make their first trip to Pakistan in 18 years this September to play three ODIs and five T20Is in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup that kickstarts on October 17. New Zealand will begin their Pakistan tour with ODIs on September 17, 19, and 21 at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, before heading south to Lahore for the five T20Is from September 25 at the Gaddafi stadium.

The New Zealand series is the start of a long 2021-22 home season for Pakistan, as that will be followed by the visit of England – both men and women – for white-ball games and West Indies men’s team – for three ODIs and three T20Is – in December. Australia is also scheduled to play a full series in Pakistan next February-March.

New Zealand series is the start of a long 2021-22 home season for Pakistan.
The New Zealand series is the start of a long 2021-22 home season for Pakistan. © Getty

New Zealand To Play 3 Cricket World Cup Super League ODIs And 5 T20Is Before T20I World Cup 2021

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced that New Zealand will play three ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League ODIs and five T20Is on their first tour to Pakistan in 18 years. Rawalpindi’s Pindi Cricket Stadium will be the venue of the ODIs slated to take place on September 17, 19, and 21, while the iconic Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore will stage the five T20Is from September 25 to October 3.

While the Rawalpindi ODIs will count towards the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 qualification, third position on the ICC T20I Team Rankings will be up for grabs in Lahore.

“Series against a top-ranked side like New Zealand will be a perfect start to a mouth-watering and highly-exciting home season of red and white-ball cricket.

“The 2019 World Cup finalists, who are also the World Test champions and ranked third in T20Is, will draw tremendous attraction and interest from the local fans, and will reinforce Pakistan’s status as a safe and secure country,” PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said on Thursday (August 5).

Wasim Khan (Getty Images)
Wasim Khan (Getty Images)

“I am pleased New Zealand Cricket has accepted our offer to play two additional Twenty20 Internationals. These will not only provide extra games to both the countries as part of their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup preparations but will also allow New Zealand players to spend extra days in Pakistan, familiarise with our culture and enjoy our hospitality,” he added.

Wasim Khan hopes the brimming home season, starting against the Kiwi series, will bring new fans and push youngsters towards the game in the country.

“With leading cricket playing countries resuming their tours to Pakistan in 2019, I remain confident and optimistic that the 2021-22 season starting with the series against New Zealand will prove to be a catalyst in rejuvenating our talented youngsters while attracting new fans to the game that has the most passionate following in the country.”

New Zealand’s tour of Pakistan is set for the September-October window after Babar Azam-led side returns from the West Indies tour.

New Zealand CEO Opens Up On New Zealand’s Close Relationship With PCB

New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White talked up the board’s close relationship with the PCB and expressed his delight at the team returning to Pakistan for the first time since 2003.

“We’re very much looking forward to returning to Pakistan for the start of their home international season. New Zealand was the first country outside India to tour Pakistan and we share a close relationship with the PCB. It’s great that, after such a difficult time for Pakistan, international cricket is again being played in the country.”

Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq JEWEL SAMAD / AFP

New Zealand last toured Pakistan in November 2003 when they played five ODIs. A year before, their last Test appearance in Pakistan was at the Gaddafi Stadium in May 2002, which is remembered for Inzamam-ul-Haq’s 329 and Shoaib Akhtar’s six for 11 in the first innings that set the platform for an innings and 324-run victory.

The Kiwis won 14 Tests, lost 25 while 21 Tests were drawn in 60 Tests played between them. Top teams have avoided touring Pakistan citing security concerns after the 2009 attack on a bus carrying Sri Lanka cricketers to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

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