Pakistan Shaheens to play 2 four-day matches, several T20s in New Zealand

Abdul Mohi Shah

While the senior national team will play three T20Is and two Tests on their tour of New Zealand, the accompanying Pakistan Shaheens are also pencilled in to play two four-day matches and a couple T20s - the number and schedule of which remain undecided.

Shaheens will play their first match against New Zealand A at Queenstown from December 10-13 while the second is set to be held from December 17-20 at Whangarei. The New Zealand cricket board however has yet to release the itinerary for the Shaheens’ T20 matches to be held at the completion of side matches.

West Indies are already in New Zealand and are to play their first side match against New Zealand A from November 20-23 and then from November 26-29. Both these matches will be played at Queenstown.

Pakistan national team will play three T20Is on December 18, 20 and 22, and the ICC World Test Championship fixtures will be held in Mount Maunganui and Christchurch on December 26-30 and January 3-7 respectively.

Apart from the 35 players involved in pre-series intra-squad matches as part of their preparations, Pakistan national team players not involved in T20 international matches against Kiwis will be available for selection in the four-day Shaheens’ side matches against New Zealand A.

Shaheens will play their T20 matches at the time when Pakistan national team will be busy playing Tests against New Zealand.

“Though we have received the confirmation on the two four-day side matches, we have yet to get any confirmation of dates or total T20 matches Shaheens are to play in England. Hopefully, within the next few days we will be in a position to get the exact number of T20 matches the backup side will play in New Zealand,” a PCB official when contacted said.

As per The News, all the 55-member contingent (35 players plus 20-member support staff) will have to go through the Covid-19 tests twice before departure.

“More Covid-19 tests will be conducted on players at the arrival in New Zealand. West Indies players have already gone through Covid-19 tests four times. That was made necessary following bubble breach by one of touring part members,” the official said. Pakistan’s 14-day quarantine period in Lincoln (New Zealand) will end on December 7.

Pakistan Shaheens to play 2 four-day matches, several T20s in New Zealand