Pakistan's tour of New Zealand to commence on December 18
The dates for Pakistan's tour of New Zealand in December have been unveiled as the team will embark on its second overseas trip since the coronavirus outbreak.
Pakistan are all set to take on hosts New Zealand in three T20Is followed by two Tests, the outcome of which will affect the teams' respective standing in the World Test Championship table.
The schedule released by the PCB sees Pakistan kick off their tour with the first T20I on December 18 while the Test matches will begin on Boxing Day in Mount Maunganui and conclude on January 7.
Pakistan's touring party will first assemble in Lahore to undergo mandatory testing before departing for the tour on November 23.
The players and support personnel will then observe a two-week quarantine period in Lincoln, as per the New Zealand government regulations and would be restricted to the bio-secure bubble.
As part of the standard Covid-19 protocols, Pakistan's extended squad will be allowed to engage in any cricket-related activity once the period of self-isolation expires.
“New Zealand boast some outstanding cricket facilities with supportive and knowledgeable crowds. Pakistan have always enjoyed touring New Zealand and have performed well there, and we look forward to similar performances from our side on this tour," said PCB director of international cricket Zakir Khan.
“New Zealand series will be our penultimate series in the ICC World Test Championship with the last series against South Africa at home following this tour. We remain optimistic and committed to finishing on a high in the championship as it is our endeavour to become one of the top-performing Test playing nations," he added.
The Pakistan Shaheens' squad will accompany the senior team to New Zealand in order to gain exposure with further details set to be announced in due course.
New Zealand has seen a relatively low rate of Covid-19 transmission with the number of active cases in the country currently 55. There could be a possibility of fans being permitted to attend matches outside of Auckland, where there has been a surge of infections over the past couple of months.
Fourth-ranked New Zealand lead fifth-placed Pakistan in the World Test Championship, though the Black Caps have played one series less.
“It’s always a pleasure to host the Pakistan cricket team in New Zealand and I know there will be a lot of interest in the Test and T20 series," said New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive David White.
“Pakistan touring sides have been coming here since 1965 and many New Zealanders have grown up watching the likes of Hanif Mohammad, Majid Khan, Zaheer Abbas, Javed Miandad, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, and of course, the great Imran Khan in action.
“I’m sure the squads coming out here this summer will be similarly steeped in talent and class and will continue the great legacy that is Pakistan cricket.”
Pakistan's previous visit to New Zealand took place in 2018 as they were humiliated in the ODIs by an emphatic 0-5 margin but triumphed in the T20Is under the leadership of Sarfaraz Ahmed.
Pakistan tour of New Zealand fixtures
18 Dec – 1st T20I, Eden Park, Auckland
20 Dec – 2nd T20I, Seddon Park, Hamilton
22 Dec – 3rd T20I, McLean Park, Napier
26-30 Dec – 1st Test, Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
3-7 Jan – 2nd Test, Hagley Oval, Christchurch