New Zealand's cricket team to return to Pakistan

The Black Caps will tour Pakistan from December 2022 to January 2023 to play two World Test Championship fixtures and three one-day internationals, New Zealand administrators said.

New Zealand abandoned its tour of Pakistan in September because of a security threat.   -  AP

New Zealand will tour Pakistan in April 2023 for 10 white-ball matches to make up for this year's abandoned limited overs series and also play two Tests and three ODIs next year, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Monday.

PCB chairman Ramiz Raja said New Zealand would tour Pakistan for two Tests and three ODIs in December/January 2022-23 as part of the Future Tours Programme and will return in April 2023 to play five ODIs and as many T20Is to make up for the abandoned September tour.

“The confirmation by New Zealand reconfirms Pakistan’s status as an important member of the cricket community,” Ramiz said in a statement on Monday.

The two Tests and three ODIs in December/January 2022-23 will be part of the ICC World Test Championship and ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League respectively.

New Zealand had abandoned its limited overs tour of Pakistan -- which was to have three ODIs and five T20Is -- before the start of the first ODI in Rawalpindi, citing a security threat, which the host board asserted did not exist. England had followed New Zealand in abandoning its short tour to Pakistan just before the T20 World Cup in October.

Ramiz had then lashed out at both New Zealand and England cricket boards for not playing in Pakistan.

On Monday, Ramiz noted that Pakistan will host eight Tests, 11 ODIs and 13 T20Is against Australia, England and New Zealand in the period from March 2022 to April 2023.

He said New Zealand's twin tours of Pakistan were finalized as a result of strong and cordial relations between the two boards. He thanked his Kiwi counterpart Martin Snedden and the New Zealand cricket board for their understanding and support.

Ramiz said both the PCB and NZC will continue to work together to finalize the series dates, which will be announced in due course of time.

Back in September, Ramiz had gone on the offensive when New Zealand returned home from Rawalpindi after announcing just hours before the first ODI that the visiting side had got a security threat and they were returning home.

Later, England also pulled out its men's and women’s teams from a scheduled white ball tour of Pakistan.

Australia are scheduled to tour Pakistan for the first time since 1998 early next year, followed by tours by England and now New Zealand.

The West Indies recently played a T20 International series in Karachi but had to return home without playing the ODIs due to several COVID-19 positive cases in the visitors' camp.

International teams had mostly stayed away from Pakistan since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009. That forced Pakistan's national teams to play “home" matches outside the country for more than six years.

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