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New Zealand vs Pakistan

Michael Atherton
Michael Atherton
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ECB’s Silence On Pulling Out Of Pakistan Tour Is Deafening: Michael Atherton

Michael Atherton has questioned the England Cricket Board on their silence on the decision to withdraw from the scheduled tour to Pakistan in October.  England was scheduled to travel to Rawalpindi in October for two Twenty20 Internationals, in what was supposed to be their first visit to Pakistan since 2005.

Almost a week after the England Cricket Board (ECB) announced their shock withdrawal from a scheduled tour to Pakistan in October, the reactions to the decision from the cricket fraternity are still coming on. The English cricket governing body has faced scathing criticism from various quarters across the globe for the move with a lack of clarity on why the decision was taken.

Michael Atherton Image Source : GETTY IMAGES
Michael Atherton Image Source: GETTY IMAGES

Michael Atherton: ECB’s Silence Is Deafening

One of the fiercest critics of the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is Michael Atherton. The former England captain has accused the board of trying to hide behind a ‘feeble, mealy-mouthed’ statement and asked them to break their silence on the issue.

In his column, Michael Atherton wrote “The ECB’s silence is deafening. The board assumes it can put out a feeble, mealy-mouthed statement and hide behind it for good, saying nothing more. The mental and physical well-being of our players and support staff remains our highest priority, and this is even more critical given the times we are currently living in.”

England and Wales Cricket Board
England and Wales Cricket Board

After the ECB announced its decision, its counterparts were furious, especially PCB chairman Ramiz Raja. Ramiz Raja was disappointed as England failed to return the favour they did to them in 2020 by touring the nation under challenging circumstances arising due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) cited “increasing concerns about travelling to the Pakistan region” just days after New Zealand also pulled out of the Pakistan tour over security concerns. The England and Pakistan T20I bilateral series was supposed to be part of the preparation ahead of the next month’s T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

New Zealand pulled out of their Pakistan tour even before play started in the 1st ODI in Rawalpindi. For years, Pakistan has played most of their home matches in the UAE, which has become a home away from the original home for its players after international teams refused to travel to the country following the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009.

Michael Atherton: Pakistan Deserved Better For Touring England Which Was At Peak Of Covid-19

He further slammed ECB for letting down a board who toured the country at the peak of the COVID-19 last summer which helped English cricket to remain financially sustainable in the pandemic.

“Pakistan’s cricketers, who spent two months in a biosecure bubble here last summer to help save the game from financial catastrophe, their administrators, who have done so much to get cricket back to that country, and supporters deserve better. The game in this country deserves better,” said Michael Atherton. 

He further questioned who made the final decision to quit the Pakistan tour referring to a statement made by PCB chairman Ramiz Raja who implied that it was a move out of the ECB’s hands.

“The chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Ramiz Raja, revealed this week that his opposite number, Ian Watmore, implied the decision was out of his, Watmore’s, hands.”

“He appeared as if there were other influencers who really made the call in the end on his behalf,”  wrote Atherton. 

Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)
Ramiz Raja. (Credits: Twitter)

The cricketer-turned broadcaster blamed the ECB for wanting the story to disappear instead of answering questions.  England’s men’s side was scheduled to play a two-match T20 series in Pakistan while the women’s team was supposed to play 2 WT20I’s and 3 WODI’s. ECB’s decision came just days after New Zealand cancelled their series in the country just minutes before the first game citing a ‘security threat.’

NZ Women Image: Twitter@WHITE_FERNS
NZ Women Image: Twitter@WHITE_FERNS
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New Zealand Cricket Boosted Security Around Women’s Team Touring UK

New Zealand Cricket on Tuesday boosted security around the women’s national team currently touring Britain as a precaution after a threatening email was received by English officials. Neither of the two teams trained at the ground on Monday, avoiding any chance of an attack.

New Zealand Cricket, which last week abruptly abandoned the Black Caps’ Pakistan tour over security fears for the men’s team, said the latest threat was ultimately deemed “not credible”. But New Zealand Cricket said the communication received by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) prompted increased security around the White Ferns women’s team, which is due to play England in Leicester on Tuesday.

New Zealand women
New Zealand women. (Photo by Kerry Marshall/Getty Images)

New Zealand Cricket Boosted Security Around Women Team In UK

The latest development came as English cricket chiefs withdrew their men’s and women’s teams from next month’s white-ball series in Pakistan, citing “increasing concerns about travelling to the region”. That decision came in the wake of the Black Caps’ dramatic withdrawal from the Pakistan tour on Friday, moments before the first one-day international was due to start at Rawalpindi Stadium.

New Zealand Cricket has refused to detail what prompted the action beyond saying it had been advised of a “specific and credible threat”.

“The ECB has received a threatening email relating to New Zealand Cricket. Although this did not specifically reference the White Ferns, it was treated seriously, investigated, and deemed not credible,” the governing body said in a statement.

“The White Ferns have now arrived in Leicester and, as a precaution, security around them has been boosted.”

NZ Women vs England Women Getty Images
NZ Women vs England Women Getty Images

The third WODI of the series between England and New Zealand looks set to go ahead in Leicester after a security threat was deemed by New Zealand Cricket to be “not credible”. The 3rd England Women vs New Zealand Women match in the 5-match series will continue despite the security threat faced by the NZ team which is being probed.

The England women side led by Heather Knight is leading the five-match England Women vs New Zealand Women series 2-0 with three more matches to play.

England And New Zealand’s Pakistan Tour Cancellations Are A Huge Setback

According to Pakistan’s Interior Minister Sheikh Rasheed Ahmad, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Pakistan leader Imran Khan that the team feared an attack outside the stadium. The England and New Zealand cancellations are a huge setback for Pakistan, which has been trying to revive tours by foreign sides after home internationals were suspended in the aftermath of a terror attack on the Sri Lankan side in 2009.

Pakistan and New Zealand Prime Ministers Imran Khan and Jacinda Ardern. (Photo Credit: Reuters)
Pakistan and New Zealand Prime Ministers Imran Khan and Jacinda Ardern. (Photo Credit: Reuters)

There will also be questions raised about planned tours to Pakistan by the West Indies in December and Australia in February next year. The New Zealand men’s team arrived in Dubai on Sunday on a charter flight from Pakistan’s Islamabad, with players not involved in next month’s Twenty20 World Cup in the UAE returning to New Zealand as soon as flights and quarantine facilities can be arranged.

England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)
England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)
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It’s Sensible To Try And Move England’s Pakistan Games To The UAE: Michael Vaughan

Michael Vaughan, the former England captain on Sunday stated that it would be ‘sensible’ to move matches against Pakistan to UAE rather than completely cancelling the tour. England is scheduled to travel to Rawalpindi in October for two Twenty20 Internationals, in what will be their first visit to Pakistan since 2005.

Michael Vaughan’s statement came after the Blackcaps abandoned their tour of Pakistan following a New Zealand government security alert on Friday.

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021
Pakistan vs New Zealand 2021. Image Credits: Twitter

Michael Vaughan: It’s Sensible To Try And Move England’s Pakistan Games To The UAE Rather Than Cancelling The Tour

New Zealand was slated to play their first match on Pakistan soil since 2003. The side was to play hosts on Friday in the first of three ODIs in Rawalpindi, before moving to Lahore for a five-match T20 series.

Michael Vaughan has suggested a way to salvage England’s upcoming limited-overs tour of Pakistan, which looks in doubt after the New Zealand men’s team abandoned a white-ball tour of the Asian country citing security concerns moments before toss in the 1st ODI between the two teams. The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is under pressure not to send its men’s and women’s teams to Pakistan and has asked its security experts for a report.

Michael Vaughan reckoned the series should be moved to the UAE “if it’s deemed unsafe to travel”. Although some international cricket and the Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches have happened in the country, major Test nations are yet to travel to Pakistan for full-fledged tours. West Indies are scheduled to travel to Pakistan later this year. Australia is also due to tour Pakistan early next year.

Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)
Michael Vaughan (Image Credit: Twitter)

“It would seem sensible to me to try and move England’s Pakistan games to the UAE rather than cancel the tour if it’s deemed unsafe to travel .. !! Hopefully the games for the Men’s & Women teams can take place rather than a full cancellation,” tweeted Michael Vaughan.

For years, Pakistan has played most of their home matches in the UAE, which has become a home away from the original home for its players after international teams refused to travel to the country following the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in 2009. But it is to be seen whether the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will agree to take their games back to UAE after having hosted some international teams at home.

Six years after the 2009 incident, Zimbabwe became the first Full Member to play in the country in 2015 in a limited-overs series. While not an international match, the 2017 Pakistan Super League final was undoubtedly the biggest game played in Pakistan since 2009. In the same year, captained by Faf du Plessis, a World XI side played the home side in a three-match T20I series, which they lost 2-1.

New Zealand Team Arrived In Dubai After Tour Cancellation

Earlier in the day, the New Zealand men’s cricket team arrived in UAE’s city Dubai after leaving Islamabad on a charter flight. The contingent of as many as 34 players and support staff are now settling into their Dubai hotel and undergoing their 24-hour period of self-isolation.
New Zealand Cricket Team
New Zealand Cricket Team-AFP

Of this group, 24 will return to their country New Zealand over the next week or so, as flights and MIQ rooms in New Zealand become available. The MIQ arrangements initially booked for all of these squad members at the end of the Pakistan tour will now be cancelled. The balance of the touring party will remain in the UAE and join up with the Black Caps T20 World Cup squad, ahead of that marquee tournament which will commence on October 17.

Warner was given out since it shows Umpire’s Call on review while the Original decision was OUT (Image Source: Twitter)
Warner was given out since it shows Umpire’s Call on review while the Original decision was OUT (Image Source: Twitter)
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Decision Review System (DRS) Won’t Be Available In New Zealand-Pakistan Series As PCB And Producers Or Broadcasters Failed To Find An ICC Approved DRS Provider

Decision Review System (DRS) will not be used during Pakistan’s upcoming limited-overs home series against New Zealand due to the non-availability of an ICC approved provider for the technology.

The Pakistan Cricket Board and the producers/broadcasters of the series could not find an approved provider of the technology required to run the system during the series which begins on September 17, according to a source.

Pakistan vs New Zealand — AFP/File
Pakistan vs New Zealand — AFP/File

Decision Review System (DRS) Won’t Be Available In NZ-Pak Series As PCB And Producers Or Broadcasters Failed To Find An ICC Approved DRS Provider

There will be no Decision Review System (DRS) available to the teams if match officials make any mistake during Pakistan’s home series against New Zealand this month. The PCB confirmed on Thursday that DRS would not be used during three ODIs and five T20Is between Pakistan and New Zealand starting from September 17.

“Member Boards can only have DRS technology providers who are approved by the International Cricket Council,” one source said.

Decision Review System-Virat Kohli calls for review using DRS (Image Source: Getty Images)
Decision Review System-Virat Kohli calls for review using DRS (Image Source: Getty Images)

He said the DRS technology will be available for the two T20 Internationals against England in October in Lahore. The New Zealand series will have three ODIs and five T20 Internationals. Rawalpindi will host the ODIs to be played on September 17, 19, and 21 while the T20Is will be played in Lahore on September 25, 25, 29, October 1, and 3.

Decision Review System Provider Not Found As The Rights Were Sold Very Late

Another source said the problem of not being able to find a DRS technology provider and the operator had arisen as the PCB sold the media rights of the New Zealand series very late.

“The rights were sold very late and that is why this problem has arisen. The result is the series will be without DRS technology on television. There was so much international cricket being played around the world at this time that equipment technology provision will have to be arranged well in advance, ” said the source.

England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)
England vs Pakistan Photo Credit: (Getty Images)

However, the source was hopeful that the PCB will manage to have the technology and its operators during the two-match T20I series against England next month.

James Neesham (AFP Photo)
James Neesham (AFP Photo)
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IPL 2021: James Neesham: New Zealand Cricket Board Decided Not To Include 1st Choice Players For Bangladesh And Pakistan Tours

James Neesham, who isn’t a part of New Zealand’s T20I series against Bangladesh, is presently in UAE preparing for the IPL 2021 Phase-2 with Mumbai Indians. A Pakistani fan, on Twitter, levied a grave allegation on the Kiwi all-rounder saying he skipped the New Zealand national cricket team’s assignment because of money.

Since James Neesham is in UAE as part of the Mumbai Indians camp for the IPL 2021 Phase-2, he wasn’t included in the New Zealand and Bangladesh T20I series. On Wednesday, James Neesham took to Twitter to ask if the opening match of the series will be aired on TV in UAE.

James Neesham
James Neesham (Photo by Andy Kearns/Getty Images)

James Neesham Plays For Mumbai Indians In IPL 2021 And Isn’t Part Of The New Zealand And Bangladesh Series

With less than a month remaining for the IPL 2021 to resume, many cricketers have started arriving in UAE, the venue for the remainder of the tournament. Among those who have arrived in the Asian nation is Kiwi all-rounder James Neesham, who plays for the defending champions Mumbai Indians. While James Neesham joins the Mumbai Paltan in UAE, New Zealand is touring Bangladesh and later Pakistan for a limited-over series scheduled for this month.

The move by James Neesham was not welcomed by many Pakistani cricket fans as they hurled abuses at the all-rounder, claiming that he chose money over national duties. Irked with the negative reactions, the Kiwi all-rounder sent out a tweet responding back to the trolls. In his tweet, he mentioned that the New Zealand Cricket board had not allowed any first-choice team members on the tour.

IPL 2021: James Neesham gave a stern response to a Pakistani fan who criticised him on Twitter
James Neesham gave a stern response to a Pakistani fan who criticized him on Twitter | BCCI Photo

“Does anyone know if the @BLACKCAPS v @BCBtigers series is on tv in the UAE? If yes, which channel? If no, how can I watch it online?”, he tweeted.

A fan responded saying: “Shame on you. Skipped national duties for Money.”

Infuriated with the fan’s comment, James Neesham responded saying: “I’m getting a lot of messages like this so I want to be crystal clear. It is an NZ Cricket player welfare policy that first-choice players aren’t on this tour. I made a request for an exemption but that request was denied.”

New Zealand is also scheduled to play Pakistan after the Bangladesh series but a number of first-team players have been rested for both series. In fact, James Neesham had asked the NZC to be a part of the tours but the board decided to rest its key players before the T20 World Cup 2021.

Jimmy Neesham Reached UAE To Participate In The IPL 2021

The Kiwi all-rounder has reached UAE to compete in IPL 2021 and after completing his quarantine period he will be joining the rest of the squad.  James Neesham became a part of the Mumbai unit after he was purchased for Rs 50 lakhs in the mini-auction held earlier this year. However, with Mumbai being a star-studded side, James Neesham has so featured in just one match out of the seven games the team played in the first phase of IPL 2021.

After the conclusion of the Bangladesh series, New Zealand is scheduled to fly to Pakistan for their first cricketing series in the country in 18 years. A number of Pakistan cricket team’s fans and former players have expressed their disappointment overseeing some top Kiwi players missing from the roster.

James Neesham. (Credits: Web)
James Neesham. (Credits: Web)

The Kiwi all-rounder made his IPL debut in 2014 where he played only 4 games for Delhi. James Neesham made his comeback to the tournament in the 2020 season, participating in 5 games for the Punjab Kings(then KXIP).

He had an ordinary season with the bat and ball considering his potential and his achievements at the International stage. With the current squad setup, James Neesham can potentially play the finisher’s role as well as bowl the crucial overs in the middle for the Mumbai Indians.

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New Zealand’s Pakistan Tour Subjected To Security Clearance After Taliban’s Afghanistan Takeover

New Zealand will go ahead with its tour of Pakistan subjected to clearance from security consultant Reg Dickason after some Kiwi players expressed concerns about touring the country following the militant group Taliban’s takeover of neighbouring Afghanistan.

New Zealand is due to reach Islamabad on September 11 to play three ODIs and five T20 Internationals in Rawalpindi and Lahore until October 3.

New Zealand Cricket Team
New Zealand Cricket Team-AFP

New Zealand Appointed International Security Consultant And Expert Reg Dickason To Visit Pakistan To Advise Whether Tour Will Go Ahead After Assessing Security

However, New Zealand Cricket officials have now commissioned an international security consultant and expert, Reg Dickason to visit Pakistan later this week to carry out thorough security and COVID-19 assessment before advising them whether they should send their team to Pakistan.

“Dickason has been a regular visit to Pakistan to carry out security and other cricket related assessments for the International Cricket Council and other boards in recent years so we are confident there is no one better than him to give a compressive report on the security situation in the region following the events in Afghanistan,” an official source in the Pakistan Cricket Board, said.

Kane Williamson (AP)
Kane Williamson (AP)

New Zealand is already set to field a depleted team with seven to eight of their leading players, including the captain, Kane Williamson, not coming due to their IPL commitments.

Kane Williamson and senior players like Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Kyle Jamieson, Tim Siefert, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchel Santner have skipped the tour because of their commitments in the T20 event, while others like Tim Southee and Devon Conway are also unavailable for the Pakistan tour.

Tom Latham To Lead New Zealand In The Limited Overs Pakistan Tour In Several Cricketers Absence For IPL Commitments

New Zealand Cricket said on Wednesday that the players would have the right to withdraw from the tour if they felt uneasy about touring Pakistan even if the tour went ahead on the advice of Reg Dickason and other assessments.

New Zealand batsman Tom Latham acknowledges the crowd after reaching his century (Photo: AFP)
New Zealand batsman Tom Latham acknowledges the crowd after reaching his century (Photo: AFP)

New Zealand will be captained by senior batsman Tom Latham during the tour, which will be their first to the country since 2003. New Zealand cricket also has sent one of their officials and a security consultant in Bangladesh for a reconnaissance visit as their team first visits Bangladesh and then flies to Pakistan. New Zealand takes on Bangladesh in five T20Is in September, followed by three ODIs and five T20Is in Pakistan.

New Zealand has also named 15 member squad for the forthcoming T20 World Cup under the leadership of Kane Williamson. Ross Taylor, the veteran Kiwi batsman, and all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme are the major exclusions from the squad. New Zealand last toured Pakistan in November 2003 when they played five ODIs.

New Zealand T20 World Cup squad: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Adam Milne (injury cover).

Squad for Bangladesh T20Is and Pakistan ODIs: Tom Latham (capt, wk), Finn Allen, Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell (wk), Doug Bracewell, Colin de Grandhomme, Jacob Duffy, Matt Henry (ODI only), Scott Kuggeleijn, Cole McConchie, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Rachin Ravindra, Ben Sears (T20 only), Blair Tickner, Will Young.
Squad for Pakistan T20Is: Tom Latham (capt, wk), Finn Allen, Todd Astle, Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell (wk), Mark Chapman, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Daryl Mitchell, Ajaz Patel, Ish Sodhi, Ben Sears, Blair Tickner, Will Young.
Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
Inzamam-ul-Haq | AFP
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Inzamam-ul-Haq Questions Why ICC Is Silent Despite Several New Zealand Players Pulling Out Of Pakistan Series For IPL 2021

Inzamam-ul-Haq lashed out at ICC and questioned its silence on the matter after being irked with New Zealand’s players’ decision to pull out of the Pakistan series for IPL 2021.

Ahead of the all-important T20 World Cup 2021, the New Zealand cricket team will square off against Bangladesh and Pakistan in a white-ball series between September 1 and October 3. While Pakistan will have their first-choice players for the series, New Zealand will be missing out on the services of 7 players who are in the WC squad as they will participate in IPL 2021 once it resumes which was criticized by Inzamam-ul-Haq.

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

Inzamam-ul-Haq: Pakistan Team Not Getting Proper Practice As They Aren’t Getting To Play Against Main Squads

New Zealand Cricket has released its players for the 2nd half of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 and 7 players, including skipper Kane Williamson, will be in UAE to take part in the T20 league.

Upset with NZ players pulling out of the Pakistan series to play IPL, former captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has lashed out at ICC and questioned its silence on the matter. As per Inzamam-ul-Haq, the players are giving more importance to private leagues instead of international cricket.

“Wherever the Pakistan team is going, they are not getting a chance to play against the main players. When we went to South Africa in April, they sent their players for the IPL. With the upcoming NZ series in Pakistan, eight NZ players have opted out of the tour to play IPL. Even in the recent England tour, the whole England team got changed due to COVID-19 in the camp,” Inzamam-ul-Haq said on his Youtube channel.

“I feel that the Pakistan team is not getting proper practice because they are not getting to play against the main players. What is the ICC doing? What message are they trying to give? Players are giving importance to private leagues and not international cricket. It’s like degrading international cricket. If you see the whole sequence, it’s happening only against Pakistan,” Inzamam-ul-Haq added.

New Zealand batsman Tom Latham
New Zealand batsman Tom Latham (Photo: AFP)

Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Lockie Ferguson, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, and Tim Seifert are other players who have been released by NZC.  Tom Latham will be leading NZ in both series.  Interestingly, he isn’t part of the T20 World Cup squad.

The 2nd phase of IPL 2021 will be played from September 19 to October 15 in the UAE. The T20 World Cup 2021 kicks off on October 17.  Following the ICC event, the NZ players will travel to India for T20I and Test series against the hosts.

Tom Latham To Lead New Zealand On Limited Overs Tours Of Pakistan And Bangladesh

Tom Latham will lead New Zealand in the absence of Kane Williamson on their white-ball tours of Pakistan and Bangladesh starting September.  The opener will stand in as leader on both tours across white-ball formats.  New Zealand takes on Bangladesh in five T20Is in September, followed by three ODIs and five T20Is in Pakistan.

New Zealand has also named 15 member squad for the forthcoming T20 World Cup under the leadership of Kane Williamson. Ross Taylor, the veteran Kiwi batsman, and all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme are the major exclusions from the squad. Ross Taylor. (Source: Twitter)

Ross Taylor. (Source: Twitter)

Todd Astle was picked along with two other spinners in the squad – legspinner Ish Sodhi and left-arm spinning allrounder Mitchell Santner. Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee will lead Kiwi’s pace attack. The same squad will also tour India later this year for three T20Is.

Adam Milne has been selected as the 16th man in the T20 World Cup squad as an injury cover.  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 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.

New Zealand T20 World Cup squad: Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Adam Milne (injury cover).

Squad for Bangladesh T20Is and Pakistan ODIs: Tom Latham (capt, wk), Finn Allen, Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell (wk), Doug Bracewell, Colin de Grandhomme, Jacob Duffy, Matt Henry (ODI only), Scott Kuggeleijn, Cole McConchie, Henry Nicholls, Ajaz Patel, Rachin Ravindra, Ben Sears (T20 only), Blair Tickner, Will Young.
Squad for Pakistan T20Is: Tom Latham (capt, wk), Finn Allen, Todd Astle, Hamish Bennett, Tom Blundell (wk), Mark Chapman, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Daryl Mitchell, Ajaz Patel, Ish Sodhi, Ben Sears, Blair Tickner, Will Young.
New Zealand Cricket Team
New Zealand Cricket Team-AFP
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New Zealand To Tour Pakistan After Almost 18 Years To Play 3 ODIs, 5 T20Is

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.

New Zealand Cricket Team
New Zealand Cricket Team-AFP
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New Zealand Cricket Confirms Kane Williamson, James Neesham, And Lockie Ferguson Will Feature In The IPL 2021 2nd Phase

New Zealand Cricket’s (NZC) chief David White has confirmed the participation of New Zealand cricketers in the upcoming second phase of IPL 2021. Over the last few days, there have been several speculations on this topic, given that the Kiwis are to tour Pakistan in the September-October window.

With this tour clashing with the recently released schedule for the second phase of IPL 2021, many opined that the likes of Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, James Neesham, and others would not take part in the elite T20 tournament.

Kane Williamson of Sunrisers Hyderabad
Kane Williamson of Sunrisers Hyderabad

New Zealand Cricket Confirms Kane Williamson, James Neesham, And Lockie Ferguson Will Feature In The IPL 2021 2nd Phase

Further doubts were raised about their availability after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) requested two additional T20I matches apart from the already planned three ODIs and three T20Is. However, David White stated that these cricketers would give precedence to the IPL to be played in the UAE, the same place where the upcoming T20 World Cup will be held.

“New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, James Neesham, and Lockie Ferguson will feature in the second phase of the IPL 2021 in the UAE,” David White said as quoted by GeoTV.

New Zealand Cricketers In IPL 2021 (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)
New Zealand Cricketers In IPL 2021 (Picture Credit: BCCI/IPL)

New Zealand Players in IPL 2021: Kane Williamson (Sunrisers Hyderabad), Adam Milne (Mumbai Indians), Trent Boult (Mumbai Indians), Mitchell Santner (Chennai Super Kings), Lockie Ferguson (Kolkata Knight Riders), Tim Seifert (Kolkata Knight Riders), Finn Allen (Royal Challengers Bangalore), Kyle Jamieson (Royal Challengers Bangalore).

The IPL bound players include the likes of Kyle Jamieson, Trent Boult, Kane Williamson, Lockie Ferguson, Jimmy Neesham, Tim Seifert, and Finn Allen. The Blackcaps will open their new WTC campaign (2021-23) against India. The Kiwis did not lose a single Test to Virat Kohli’s men in the first edition of the tournament. The Blackcaps will play its first home series(2 Tests) of the new WTC tournament versus Bangladesh.

BCCI In Talks With Cricket Australia And England And Wales Cricket Board To Come To A Consensus Regarding Players’ Availability

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is also in talks with Cricket Australia (CA) and the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) to come to a consensus about their players’ availability.

“We are much relieved now. BCCI are in talks with English and Australian boards to come to a consensus regarding this. Given April and May are earmarked for the IPL, they are right to raise their own objections, but we are now confirmed to witness New Zealand players in action,” one of the franchise officials told Cricket.com last month after hearing the rumours.

New Zealand have not toured Pakistan since December 2003 Getty Images
New Zealand have not toured Pakistan since December 2003 Getty Images

The second phase of IPL 2021 is scheduled to begin on September 19 and will close with the final on October 15. New Zealand is likely to tour Pakistan for a limited-overs series just before the T20 World Cup. The last time Blackcaps toured Pakistan was in 2003, where they were white-washed in the five-match ODI series.

Babar Azam. Image Credit: Getty Images.
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Babar Azam In Trouble As FIR Is To Be Filed For Harassment In Lahore Court

Babar Azam, Pakistan skipper is in trouble as an FIR is set to be filed against him after an additional session court in Lahore ordered the police to file a case against the Pakistan captain over a sexual harassment complaint.

Babar Azam, 26, faced allegations of sexual harassment in November 2020 by a woman named Hamiza Mukhtar from Lahore.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Babar Azam Faced Allegations Of Harassment In November 2020

In her complaint, the Pakistani woman had alleged that the Pakistan captain had sexually exploited her after making false promises of marriage. The woman also said he has forced her to undergo aborting. The petitioner had annexed her medical documents as evidence in the court.

Babar Azam
Babar Azam Image Credits: Twitter

After hearing the arguments of both the parties, the additional sessions judge, Noman Muhammad Naeem, directed the SHO of Naseerabad police station to immediately register an FIR against Babar Azam. The judge termed the allegations to be disturbing in nature and has ordered an in-depth investigation into the matter.

Babar Azam Is Gearing Up For Series Against South Africa

Hamiza Mukhtar later confirmed that the FIR has been lodged at the Naseerabad police station. Earlier, another additional sessions judge, Abid Raza had ordered the skipper and his family not to harass her, who had alleged that she was getting threat calls to withdraw the case.

Earlier, the woman from Pakistan claimed that some armed hooligans had opened fire at her vehicle near the Kahna Police Station in Lahore.

The woman alleged that when she tried to register an FIR against the cricketer at the Naseerabad Police Station, the cricketer forced her to withdraw the application on marriage re-assurance.

New Zealand vs Pakistan
New Zealand vs Pakistan-Image Credit: Twitter

Babar Azam is gearing up for Pakistan’s home series against South Africa. The Pakistan skipper, who missed the New Zealand series with a fractured thumb despite travelling with the squad, will be key as Pakistan take on South Africa in 2 Tests and 3 T20Is from January 26 to February 14.