PCB likely to announce squads for NZ series, T20 WC simultaneously

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The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is expected to announce squads for the New Zealand series and the ICC Twenty20 World Cup at the same time, sources told Geo News Monday. 

PCB ources said the board is likely to announce the national team on September 6. The PCB is determined to try different combinations in the bowling and batting lineups against New Zealand and England in the run-up to the World Cup.

The board plans to take full advantage of its experience of the combinations during the seven T20 matches to ensure it has the best players ahead of the mega event to be held in the UAE. 

New Zealand series

The Kiwis are scheduled to play three ODIs and five T20Is against Pakistan in Rawalpindi and Lahore respectively. The Black Caps will visit Pakistan for a series after 18 years.

The New Zealand players are currently in Bangladesh, playing a five-match Twenty20I series agains the hosts. Their T20I series will conclude on September 10 after which the Black Caps are expected to arrive in Pakistan on September 11.

Reacting to the security concerns of the New Zealand Cricket, the PCB had promised state-level security for the visiting team. The board said it was in constant communication with the New Zealand board and has discussed all the issues related to the series, an official from the cricket board told the publication.

“The PCB officials assured the Kiwi board of foolproof security for the visiting players.

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 to begin on October 17

Meantime, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 will kick off from October 17 simultaneously in the UAE and Oman. India and Pakistan are set to lock horns in the Super 12s stage of the 2021 men’s T20 World Cup on October 24 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

“The two neighbours will come face-to-face for the first time since their 2019, 50-over World Cup fixture at Manchester, and this will be the sixth time they will compete in the global T20 tournament,” said the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

“Two days later, Pakistan, the champions of the 2009 edition, will play Kane Williamson’s New Zealand at the historic Sharjah Cricket Stadium, before returning to Dubai to play Afghanistan for the first time in a T20 World Cup on October 29,” added the board.

In their last two matches of the Super 12 stage, which will feature top-eight ranked T20 teams and four teams who secure qualification from Round 1, Pakistan, who have played the most matches (36) in the UAE for an international side and have won 21 of them, will play the runner-up of Group A and winners of Group B on 2 and 7 November at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium and Sharjah Cricket Stadium, respectively.

Babar Azam says T20 WC is like a home event

After the release of the T20 World Cup schedule, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam had said it was like a home event for his side since it was taking place in the UAE.

“For Pakistan, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 is like a home event as the UAE has been our venue for more than a decade. We have not only nurtured our talent and developed our side in the UAE but have also beaten the top sides in these conditions to peak to number-one in the ICC T20I Team Rankings,” he had said.

“All the players are excited, motivated and enthusiastic, and view this tournament as an opportunity to showcase our prowess and re-establish our superiority in the shortest format of the game in conditions that suit us best,” he had said.

NZ series schedule

11 Sep – Arrival in Islamabad

12-14 Sep – Room isolation

15-16 Sep – Training/practice/intra-squad match

17 Sep – 1st ODI, Rawalpindi

19 Sep – 2nd ODI, Rawalpindi

21 Sep – 3rd ODI, Rawalpindi

25 Sep – 1st T20I, Lahore

26 Sep – 2nd T20I, Lahore

29 Sep – 3rd T20I, Lahore

1 Oct – 4th T20I, Lahore

3 Oct – 5th T20I, Lahore

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