Tri-series in New Zealand will help us acclimatise for T20 World Cup in Australia: Babar Azam

by IANS |

Lahore, June 28 (IANS) Pakistan skipper Babar Azam has expressed his happiness over New Zealand hosting his side in the tri-series just before the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia, with the charismatic batter saying that it will help his side acclimatise for the mega-event.

Pakistan had emerged one of the favourites in the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE last year after they entered the semifinal riding on some superb performances from the likes of Azam and pace bowler Shaheen Afridi, among others, in the league phase of the prestigious tournament. But they lost the semifinal thriller to Australia to be eliminated.

This time, though, they will get the opportunity to play a tri-series in New Zealand, which Azam hopes will prepare them well for the T20 World Cup in October-November this year Down Under.

"I am pleased that we will be featuring in the tri-series in New Zealand as it will help us to arrive early and not only acclimatise for the T20 World Cup in Australia but also give final touches to our preparations," said Azam on Tuesday.

"I missed the last series in New Zealand due to a thumb injury and look forward to playing cricket in Christchurch against two good oppositions."

Pakistan will complete their warm-up for this year's ICC T20 Cricket World Cup with a tri-series featuring Bangladesh as the third team in early October.

Azam's side will travel to New Zealand at the start of October for a minimum of four T20I matches in Christchurch ahead of their T20 World Cup opener against arch-rivals India at the MCG on October 23.

It will be the first time Babar has played an international T20 match on New Zealand soil since the start of 2018, after the Pakistan captain missed the 2020/21 tour due to a thumb injury.

Tri-series schedule: Oct 8 - New Zealand v Bangladesh, Hagley Oval, Christchurch; Oct 9 - Pakistan v New Zealand, Hagley Oval, Christchurch; Oct 10 - Bangladesh v Pakistan, Hagley Oval, Christchurch; Oct 11 - New Zealand v Bangladesh, Hagley Oval, Christchurch; Oct 12 - Bangladesh v Pakistan, Hagley Oval, Christchurch; Oct 13 - New Zealand v Pakistan, Hagley Oval, Christchurch; Oct 14 - Final, Hagley Oval, Christchurch.

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