New Zealand expected to play T20's in Pakistan after 15 years

WELLINGTON: New Zealand are weighing up playing cricket in Pakistan for the first time in 15 years.
New Zealand have not played in Pakistan since 2003 because of security concerns but have been asked to play Twenty20 matches in the country later this year by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said.
“NZC has received a request from the PCB chairman for New Zealand to play in Pakistan,” an NZC spokesman said.“At the moment NZC is doing due diligence on the request and consulting with security providers, the government, and the players.
“We will respond to the PCB when this process has been completed.”The Black Caps are scheduled to play Tests and One-day Internationals (ODIs) against Pakistan in November at the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the country’s designated “home” base.
No dates have been issued for those matches yet. Pakistan have remained largely starved of international cricket at home since the 2009 attacks on a bus carrying Sri Lanka’s team in Lahore, which wounded six players and a British coach, and killed eight Pakistanis.
New Zealand abandoned their last Test tour of Pakistan in 2002 after a bomb exploded outside their Karachi hotel but they returned to play an ODI series in 2003. New Zealand were scheduled to play a two-Test series, but the tour was cut short after one Test. On the morning the second Test was due to start, a massive bomb blast outside the hotel the teams were staying at killed 15 people, including 11 French engineers. The New Zealand team was not thought to be a target.
The tour was immediate cancelled, with the team flying back home that very day. They were also scheduled to tour in December 2009, but their series was cancelled after the attack on the Sri Lanka team bus.
Pakistan media, citing an unnamed source in the PCB, reported that Australia had also been approached to play in the country.Australia are scheduled to play Tests and limited overs matches against Pakistan at the UAE in September or October.
Cricket Australia (CA) declined to confirm the approach but said their next series against Pakistan would remain in the Middle East.“The safety and security of Australian players is our number one priority,” a CA spokesman said.
“From an Australia team perspective, we are not contemplating moving our current bilateral-tour arrangements from taking on Pakistan in the Middle East, when they host the next series.” Australia last arrived in Pakistan two decades ago in 1998, playing three Tests and five ODIs.
Since Zimbabwe visited for three ODIs and two T20Is in 2015, Pakistan have played host to four Pakistan Super League matches, three T20Is against an ICC World XI, one T20I against Sri Lanka and three T20Is against the West Indies last month.

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