New Zealand to Tour Pakistan for Five T20Is in April

New Zealand to Tour Pakistan for Five T20Is in April

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has confirmed New Zealand’s tour of Pakistan for a five-match T20I series in April 2024. The Black Caps will arrive in Islamabad on April 14 and play three matches in Rawalpindi from April 18 to 21, followed by two more at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on April 25 and 27.

This tour marks New Zealand’s third visit to Pakistan since December 2022, highlighting the growing camaraderie between the two cricketing nations. The visitors played two Tests and three ODIs in Pakistan at the turn of that year, before returning in April 2023 for a series of ten white-ball games.

The upcoming T20I series will serve as New Zealand’s final international engagement before the T20 World Cup in June. It will also be a crucial part of Pakistan’s preparations for the global event, with the hosts set to play a total of 12 T20Is ahead of the tournament.

However, the series clashes with the Indian Premier League (IPL), which means several of New Zealand’s leading T20 cricketers may be unavailable. Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Kane Williamson, Rachin Ravindra, Trent Boult, Glenn Phillips, and Lockie Ferguson are all contracted by IPL teams this season.

Despite the potential absence of some key players, the PCB is confident that the series will be highly competitive. “This tour symbolises the deep-rooted ties and mutual respect that define the relationship between our two cricketing nations,” said Usman Wahla, the PCB’s director of international cricket.

The series will take place shortly after the holy month of Ramzan and the Eid holidays, with games scheduled to begin at 7pm local time. The final few games of the Pakistan Super League (PSL) have necessitated a late start because of Ramzan, taking place at 9pm.