NZ ‘open mind’ on first Pakistan tour in 18 years
Monitoring Report
WELLINGTON: New Zealand Cricket (NZC) is considering touring Pakistan in 2021, for the first time in 18 years, according to stuff.co.nz. Under the Future Tours Programme, Pakistan is scheduled to host the Black Caps in September/October next year. The two sides will face each other in three one-day internationals and three Twenty20 international series. It must be noted that England team would play two T20 internationals in Karachi in October next year, which is the side’s first visit to Pakistan since 2005, and this is something which is being monitored by NZC. NZC public affairs manager Richard Boock confirmed that the Black Caps were locked in for that tour but the venues were not decided, yet. “Regarding location, nothing’s been decided yet but we do note the decision of England, and are keeping an open mind on the issue,” said Boock. “We’re yet to discuss this matter with the players or players association — so have no set position at this point,” he added. The Black Caps haven’t visited Pakistan since 2003, when former all-rounder Chris Cairns’s led a second-string side, when they suffered a 5-0 whitewash in the ODI series. The team was missing many of their frontline players after their previous tour was abandoned due to a bomb blast, outside their Karachi hotel, on the morning of the second Test. In 2018, NZC decided against playing two T20I matches in Pakistan on security advice, after some players were reluctant to embark on the tour. New Zealand Cricket Players’ Association Chief Executive Heath Mills said a thorough security assessment would be required before confirming the tour. “Yes, absolutely we need to be looking at it and considering touring there [Pakistan] again, there’s no question about that, but as always we’re expressing caution: what does that involve, is it one or two games or is it a full tour, how many cities are involved and what is the risk in each place?” said Mills. “There’s a whole list of questions to work our way through, as we do for anywhere we tour,” he added.