Tom Latham-led New Zealand cricket team on Saturday arrived in Pakistan to play their first limited-overs series in the country since 2003. The series will have three One Day Internationals and five T20 Internationals with the first ODI to be held at Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi.
With the return of opening batsman Martin Guptill and spinner Ish Sodhi to the T20I team, New Zealand are all set to play a limited-overs series against Pakistan. New Zealand will play in Pakistan after a long interval of 18 years. In 2003, New Zealand played a five-match ODI series in Lahore. Since then Pakistan has been hosting New Zealand in the UAE due to security concerns. The series will have three ODI matches and five T20Is.
The original idea was to include this series in the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League. However, according to the Pakistan Cricket Board, this will be only a bilateral series as Decision Review Technology (DRS) will be not available for the series. A positive development in this matter is that cricket boards of both countries have agreed to play three one-dayers which will count as qualifications for the 2023 World Cup as the kiwi team is scheduled to play two matches in Pakistan next year.
New Zealand will miss the services of several players. Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson, and Lockie Ferguson will not play in the series due to their commitments in the IPL which is starting from September 19. Ross Taylor is also not in the squad. In the absence of these players, New Zealand lost the recent T20 series against Bangladesh by 3-2. The audience will also be a part of the series with 25% attendance allowed in the stadiums. The first match of the series between Pakistan and New Zealand will be played on September 17.