New Zealand Cricket today officially announced the dates for its Pakistan’s tour. The green shirts will be playing three T20 internationals and two tests from December 18 to January 7 with New Zealand, one of the few countries which have curbed Covid-19. NZC is quite confident that they will be able to bring crowds in the stadium. If it manages to do so, this series might be the first sport to be played with crowds after the pandemic.

Pakistani players will have to serve a 14-day quarantine period once they arrive in New Zealand in last week of November. PCB is contemplating on sending Pakistan Shaheen, effectively the ‘A team’ with the national team. Players from both squads will be available for selection.

The tour will kick-start with three T20 internationals to be played on December 18, 20 and 22 in Auckland, Hamilton and Napier. The Test series will begin from December 26th at Mount Maunguni. The Hagley Oval in Christchurch will host the second test.

In a press conference, New Zealand Cricket CEO David White said, “It’s always a pleasure to host the Pakistan cricket team in New Zealand and I know there will be a lot of interest in the Test and T20 series,” NZC chief executive, David White, said. “Pakistan touring sides have been coming here since 1965 and many New Zealanders have grown up watching the likes of Hanif Mohammad, Majid Khan, Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and of course, the great Imran Khan in action. I’m sure the squads coming out here this summer will be similarly steeped in talent and class and will continue the great legacy that is Pakistan cricket.”

“New Zealand boast some outstanding cricket facilities with supportive and knowledgeable crowds,” PCB director international cricket, Zakir Khan said. “Pakistan have always enjoyed touring New Zealand and have performed well there, and we look forward to similar performances from our side on this tour.”

“New Zealand series will be our penultimate series in the ICC World Test Championship with the last series against South Africa at home following this tour. We remain optimistic and committed to finishing on a high in the Championship as it is our endeavour to become one of the top-performing Test playing nations.”

Pakistan last toured New Zealand in January 2018 where the green shirts were handed a 5-0 drubbing. However, they were able to take the T20 series 2-1. Last time these two teams met in a test series in New Zealand was in 2016, with the home team winning it 2-0.

The author is a member of staff and heads the sports and business desks at The Correspondent. He mainly lives in the shadows as a ghost writer so you may have read his work and not even known it. He can be reached at asadqasim@thecorrespondent.pk

The author is a member of staff and heads the sports and business desks at The Correspondent. He mainly lives in the shadows as a ghost writer so you may have read his work and not even known it. He can be reached at asadqasim@thecorrespondent.pk

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