junior New Zealand team without 8 major players landed in pakistan
Pakistan full strength squad takes on a junior New Zealand side depleted by the Indian Premier League when their five-match T20 series gets underway in Lahore from Friday.
Junior New Zealand Eight Kiwis are missing because of the IPL and skipper Kane Williamson has a bad knee injury, leaving the captaincy to batsman Tom Latham — and providing plenty of opportunity for newcomers to shine.
While Pakistan´s top cricketers featured in the inaugural edition of the multibillion-dollar IPL in 2008, they have been barred since — mirroring the frosty diplomatic relations between the neighbours.
Pakistan and New Zealand will also meet in five one-day internationals after the T20 series, honing preparations for this year´s 50-over World Cup in India.
Pakistan, runners-up to England in last year´s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia, welcome back skipper Babar Azam and key players Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Haris Rauf. They were rested for the recent losing series against Afghanistan.
Shaheen´s return will be his first international match since injuring his knee in the World Cup final.
Pakistan boast a new backroom team with former New Zealand all-rounder Grant Bradburn taking head coach duties for the 10 matches from Abdur Rehman.
New sensation Ihsanullah, who goes by only one name and bowls at a ferocious 150 kilometres (90 miles) an hour, kept his place despite the disastrous loss against Afghanistan, along with opener Saim Ayub and pacer Zaman Khan.
“We have a good squad that marries the exuberance of youth and the experience of senior cricketers,” skipper Azam said Thursday, adding they would not take a weakened Black Caps side lightly.
“International cricket demands full commitment and that´s what we are focused on,” he said.
“We are going to bring our ´A´ game and keep ourselves focused for good results.”
Junior New Zealand’s interim coach Shane Jurgensen is in confident mood despite missing so many players.
“It will be a quick turnaround from the fantastic series win against Sri Lanka,” said Jurgensen of New Zealand´s 2-1 T20 victory.
Former spin-king Saqlain Mushtaq will be Jurgensen´s assistant — just two months after completing his stint as Pakistan´s head coach.
“It will be a challenging series,” Jurgensen said.
“Obviously Pakistan are a fantastic team to play in the white-ball format, so it´s a good opportunity to challenge them.”
The tour comes as something of compensation for New Zealand pulling out of their visit to Pakistan on the day of the first game in September 2021, citing security concerns.
The Black Caps played two Tests and three ODIs in Pakistan just three months ago.
The remaining four T20 matches are on April 15 and 17 in Lahore, and 20 and 24 in Rawalpindi.
Team Junior New Zealand Tom Latham (captain), Chad Bowes, Mark Chapman, Matt Henry, Ben Lister, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Rachin Ravindra, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Will Young, Dane Cleaver, Cole McConchie, Blair Tickner.
Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Zaman Khan.
it is pertinent to mention that the New Zealand team first tour in 2023 but in 2021 due to securety concerns. the words of New Zealand cricket board ” New Zealand abandoned its cricket tour of Pakistan on Friday over security concerns that mystified the hosts, just before the Black Caps’ first scheduled match in Pakistan in 18 years”.
NZC chief executive David White said the advice he received made the tour impossible to continue, and he was supported by the New Zealand Cricket Players Association.
“I understand this will be a blow for the PCB, who have been wonderful hosts, but player safety is paramount and we believe this is the only responsible option,” White said.
The PCB said it tried its best to convince the Kiwis, but “cricket lovers in Pakistan and around the world will be disappointed by this last minute withdrawal (of New Zealand).”
In the 2022 series of Pakistan and New Zealand in Lahore, Pakistan beat New Zealand with graceful numbers in a series and every social media user was sharing memes on fearful defeat in the series but the kiwi team showed grace over defeat as well.
pakistani were super excited with memes like ” Security tight kar di ha”. and “koi sady laike khidmat mazeed”. and “Hun Aram aye”.