New Zealand are set to play away matches across all formats of the sport against Pakistan next year after the hosts announced the schedule for two Tests, eight ODIs, and five T20Is. The Kiwis had visited Pakistan in 2021 as well before suddenly abandoning the tour ahead of the first ODI.
Pakistan Cricket on Monday announced that New Zealand will be touring them two times over the next year to play matches across all three formats. The first tour in December-January will comprise two Tests, three ODIs, and four T20Is followed by five ODIs and a one-off T20I in April-May. This will be the first time the Black Caps will be playing in Pakistan since 2003/04 when they suffered a 5-0 whitewash in an ODI series against the Men in Green.
The first Test is scheduled to take place in Karachi starting December 27 of the ongoing year. The two sides will then travel to Multan for the second fixture beginning January 4, with the encounter set to be their first Test meeting at the venue in 33 years. Both matches will form a part of the ICC World Test Championship and will be followed by the rivals making a trip back to Karachi for all the remaining games of the tour.
The second tour will exclusively feature white ball matches across Rawalpindi and Lahore, and unlike the first leg, is not a part of the Future Tours Program considering it is meant to cover up for the abandoned games in 2021. The Black Caps were scheduled to play three ODIs and five T20Is in September of last year but doubts were cast when the two teams did not show up to the stadium ahead of the first ODI. Subsequently, the visitors had announced they will be returning home without playing a game due to security concerns.
"We had promised our passionate fans that we will deliver high-quality home international cricket in 2022. Today's announcement of New Zealand's double visit to Pakistan is part of that commitment," Zakir Khan, Pakistan Cricket Board's Director of International Cricket stated following the announcement.
"New Zealand is one of the high-performing sides and the more we will play against the top teams in our backyard, the better we will get as a unit, which is crucial to our objective of featuring inside the top-three across all formats. The New Zealand matches will also provide opportunities to our youngsters to continue to watch and follow their favourite players in action, something they have missed when we were forced to play our international cricket offshore."