Sunday, May 26, 2024

PCB: Pakistan launches ICC T20 World Cup preparations on Thursday

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Photo Credit: Pakistan Cricket Board

  • Scorecards and player stats from the series will be available here

Pakistan will kick-off their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 preparations on Thursday at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium when they will take on New Zealand in first of the five matches. The venue will also host matches on Saturday and Sunday, while Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium will be the stage for the remaining two matches next week on Thursday and Saturday.

This will be the third five-match series between the two sides inside a 12-month period. Last year, Pakistan and New Zealand drew the series at two-all in Pakistan, while New Zealand clinched the series 4-1 earlier this year in their backyard.

Pakistan have named uncapped Abrar Ahmed, Mohammad Irfan Khan and Usman Khan in the 17-player squad, which also sees the return of Babar Azam as the white-ball captain.

Mohammad Amir and Imad Wasim are also back in national colours along with fast bowler Naseem Shah. Naseem last played for Pakistan in the ACC Asia Cup 2023 before suffering shoulder injury in the match against India in Colombo that sidelined him from the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 and tours of Australia and New Zealand.

Azhar Mahmood, for the first time in his career, will be the head coach of the Pakistan men’s team. The former Test all-rounder has previously worked as the national side’s bowling coach from 2016-2019.

Babar Azam: “This five-match T20I series holds a lot of importance for us as we look forward to preparing for the all-important mega-event. We had a great fitness camp in Kakul and are looking forward to express ourselves as unit.

“New Zealand will challenge us at different points in the series, serving as a fine work out for the Pakistan side. The prospect of having a blend of youth and experience in the side excites me as a leader.”

Michael Bracewell: “I’m proud to be leading the team on this tour. We’ll look to play entertaining cricket as a side and take the game forward. Most of the players in our squad have played a lot of T20 Cricket growing up and they are very well equipped with the knowledge of this format. Pakistan are formidable side at home and we’ll look to put challenges in their backyard.”

The toss is scheduled to take place at 7pm local time and the first will be bowled at 7.30pm local time.

Squads:

Pakistan – Babar Azam (captain), Abrar Ahmed, Azam Khan, Fakhar Zaman, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Abbas Afridi, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohmmad Amir, Muhammad Irfan Khan, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usama Mir, Usman Khan and Zaman Khan

New Zealand – Michael Bracewell (captian), Tom Blundell, Mark Chapman, Josh Clarkson, Jacob Duffy, Dean Foxcroft, Ben Lister, Cole McConchie, Jimmy Neesham, Will O’Rourke, Tim Robinson, Ben Sears, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi and Zak Foulkes.

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