Pakistan is set to host New Zealand and England in the next two months. The series will serve as preparation for the T20 World Cup as well as a breakthrough step in bringing cricket back to the country. However, the recent political turnaround in Afghanistan, where the Taliban has taken charge of the country, has put the series in jeopardy. If reports are to be believed, several New Zealand and England cricketers have expressed their concerns about travelling to Pakistan. It is learned that security officers from both countries will visit Pakistan to access the situation.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the series, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani is confident of successfully staging the series.
“Cricket is taking place [in Pakistan] and we have New Zealand coming in September followed by England in October. There are no problems in hosting matches in Pakistan,” Mani told Times of India.
New Zealand are set to play three ODIs and five T20Is in Rawalpindi and Lahore respectively. The ODI series will commence on September 17, with the matches to follow on September 19 and 21. The T20Is will be played on September 25, 26, 29, and October 1 and 3. England, on the other hand, will play two back to back T20Is on October 13 and 14 at Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi. Along with the men’s team, the women’s team will also travel to Pakistan to play two T20Is and three ODIs.
If the series does go ahead, both New Zealand and England are likely to be without their A players, who will be part of the second leg of IPL.