Pak vs NZ: Black Caps arrive in Pakistan after 18 years

ISLAMABAD: After 18 long years, the New Zealand cricket team landed in Pakistan on Saturday to play an extended series of 3 ODIs and 5 T20s.

The NZ cricketers arrived via a charter flight from Bangladesh at the Islamabad Airport today from where they will directly go to the hotel and undergo COVID-19 testing.

After negative test results, the Black Caps will be allowed to start training. An intra-squad match for the New Zealand cricket team is scheduled on September 15.

New Zealand last toured Pakistan in November 2003 when they played five ODIs. Since the 2003 ODI series, Pakistan have thrice hosted New Zealand for ODIs in the United Arab Emirates with the Black Caps winning the 2009-10 and 2014-15 series )2-1 and 3-2, respectively) and drawing the 2018-19 series 1-1.

However, Pakistan won the 2009-10 and 2018-19 T20I series by 2-0 and 3-0, respectively, while the 2014-15 series was tied at 1-1. New Zealand drew the 2014-15 Test series 1-1 and won the 2018-19 series by 2-1.

Match schedule

Rawalpindi’s Pindi Cricket Stadium will be the venue of the 17, 19 and 21 September ODIs, while the iconic Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore will stage the five T20Is from 25 September to 3 October.

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.

The ICC World Test Championship winners will return to Pakistan next year to play Test matches.

Status of ODI series changed

In an important development, the PCB and New Zealand Cricket have mutually agreed to change the status of next week’s ODI series to a bilateral series from the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League fixtures due to the non-availability of the Decision Review System (DRS), a requirement in the event playing conditions.

As New Zealand will return to Pakistan in the 2022-23 season to play two Tests and three ODIs, the two boards have agreed that these 50-over matches will now count towards the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 qualification.

Bumper cricket season

New Zealand is the first side to visit Pakistan in what will be a bumper 2021-22 season for the local cricket fans and supporters.

Following New Zealand’s tour, England’s men and women sides will play white-ball matches in Pakistan before West Indies are expected to arrive in Karachi in December for three ODIs and three T20Is.

Australia is scheduled to undertake a full tour in February/March 2022.