After 18 years, Black Caps to tour Pakistan for limited-overs series

The New Zealand cricket team will tour Pakistan for ODIs and five Twenty20 Internationals, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced on Thursday.

Notably, it will be the Black Caps first tour to Pakistan in 18 years.

While the ODIs will be held on September 17, 19 and 21 at Rawalpindi’s Pindi Cricket Stadium, the five T20Is will be staged at the Gaddafi Stadium between September 25 and 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.

Commenting on the development, PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said: “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.

“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.

“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.”

Meanwhile, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) Chief Executive David White commented: “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,” he added.

In the Super League, Pakistan have 40 points from nine ODIs, while New Zealand have won all three ODIs and are presently sitting pretty on 30 points.

The seven top-ranked sides and World Cup hosts India will progress directly for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 to take place in India in October/November 2023.

News Desk

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