The New Zealand cricket team has arrived in Pakistan to play a full series of One Day Internationals (ODIs) and Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). The squad, led by Tom Latham, landed at the Allama Iqbal International Airport on Tuesday amid tight security arrangements.
The Kiwis will rest for two days before starting their practice sessions on April 13. The five-match T20I series will be played in Lahore and Rawalpindi, while the ODIs will be played in Rawalpindi and Karachi. The T20I matches are scheduled for April 14, 15, 17, 20, and 24, while the ODIs will be played on April 27, 29, May 3, 5, and 7.
After reaching Pakistan, New Zealand all-rounder Daryl Mitchell expressed his excitement about playing in Pakistan, especially for the young players who have not experienced these conditions before. He said that Pakistan has a world-class team, and playing in such challenging conditions will give the young players much-needed experience.
“The series is quite long. We will try to play good cricket,” Mitchell added.
The Pakistan squad for the T20Is and ODIs includes some top players like Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, and Zaman Khan.
The New Zealand squad for the ODIs includes Tom Latham (c), Tom Blundell, Chad Bowes, Matt Henry, Ben Lister, Cole McConchie, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Henry Nicholls, Rachin Ravindra, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner, and Will Young.
The New Zealand cricket team’s visit to Pakistan is significant as it is the first time in 18 years that the team is touring Pakistan. In 2002, the New Zealand cricket team had abandoned their tour of Pakistan midway due to security concerns following a bomb blast near their hotel.
However, since then, the security situation in Pakistan has improved significantly, and several other international cricket teams have toured the country in recent years. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is hoping that the successful tour of New Zealand will encourage other international teams to visit Pakistan in the future.
In conclusion, the New Zealand cricket team’s arrival in Pakistan for a full series of T20Is and ODIs is a significant development for the PCB and Pakistani cricket fans. The tour will provide an opportunity for the young players of both teams to gain valuable experience in challenging conditions. It is hoped that the successful tour will pave the way for other international teams to visit Pakistan in the future, contributing to the revival of international cricket in the country.