At a time when the cricketing world is gripped by Indian Premier League (IPL) fever, Pakistan’s tour of New Zealand – comprising five T20Is and as many ODIs – promises some exciting international action.
Pakistan have picked a star-studded T20I squad, boosted by the return of Shaheen Afridi, which is set to play international cricket for the first time since the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup final against England in November 2022.
Babar Azam said:
“The T20 World Cup is over a year away and we will look to utilise the next five games to see where we stand,”.
“They will also help us gear up for the crucial five-match ODI series that follows as more or less we have the same players in this team and that series will provide us a good opportunity to prepare for the Asia Cup and World Cup later in the year.”
Afridi is currently busy setting records at the Silver Wall and Pakistan ground. Afridi made his comeback to international cricket during this series after a four-month absence. The Pakistan Star Fast Bowler recently captained Lahore Qalandars to the PSL championship, becoming him the first skipper to win the competition twice.
Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, and Haris Rauf, who were all rested for the Afghanistan T20I series in Sharjah, are now back on the team. He claimed that following their 2-1 defeat by Afghanistan, team Pakistan will be glad to see their great T20I players back in action.
PAK vs NZ T20I fixtures:
1st T20I: 14 April, Lahore
2nd T20I: 15 April, Lahore
3rd T20I: 17 April, Lahore
4th T20I: 20 April, Rawalpindi
5th T20I: 24 April, Rawalpindi
Pakistan vs New Zealand squads:
Pakistan T20I squad: Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood and Zaman Khan.
New Zealand T20I squad: Tom Latham (c), Chad Bowes, Mark Chapman, Dane Cleaver, Matt Henry, Ben Lister, Adam Milne, Cole McConchie, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Rachin Ravindra, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner and Will Young.