Report: Pakistan Prepare for T20I Showdown with NZ

New Zealand’s Forthcoming T20I Tour of Pakistan

Schedule and Venues

In a move that further cements international cricket’s return to Pakistan, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has confirmed New Zealand’s tour comprising five T20I matches in April. The Kiwis are scheduled to land in Islamabad on April 14, followed by three T20Is at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium from April 18 to 21. The tour will conclude with two matches at Lahore’s iconic Gaddafi Stadium on April 25 and 27.

Security Measures and Previous Tours

This tour follows a successful security assessment conducted by a delegation that visited Pakistan in February. Such visits are crucial, particularly for teams like Australia and New Zealand, to ensure the safety and security of players and staff. Notably, this will be New Zealand’s third tour to Pakistan since December 2022, underscoring a strengthening cricketing bond between the two nations.

IPL Clash and Team Composition

However, the tour coincides with the Indian Premier League (IPL), implying that several of New Zealand’s top T20 cricketers may not be available. Names like Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Kane Williamson, Rachin Ravindra, Trent Boult, Glenn Phillips, and Lockie Ferguson, who are contracted with IPL teams, are likely to miss the Pakistan tour.

Photo iMAGO

Buildup to the T20 World Cup

For New Zealand, this tour marks their final international engagement before the T20 World Cup in June. Simultaneously, it’s the first leg of the 12 T20Is Pakistan will play leading up to the global event. The PCB’s director of international cricket, Usman Wahla, expressed his enthusiasm: “This tour symbolises the deep-rooted ties and mutual respect that define the relationship between our two cricketing nations.”

“Our avid cricket fans and the people of Pakistan will welcome the New Zealand team again and we hope to have yet another competitive series which is a key part of our buildup to this year’s ICC T20 World Cup.”

Ramzan and Match Timings

The series is uniquely positioned just after the holy month of Ramzan and the Eid holidays. Consequently, the games are scheduled to begin at the usual local time of 7 pm. This timing adjustment accommodates the late finishes necessitated by Ramzan during the Pakistan Super League (PSL) matches.

Pak vs NZ T20I series schedule

18 April – 1st T20I, Rawalpindi
20 April – 2nd T20I, Rawalpindi
21 April – 3rd T20I, Rawalpindi
25 April – 4th T20I, Lahore
27 April – 5th T20I, Lahore

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