Newly appointed Test captain Babar Azam is set to lead 35-man Pakistan squad for New Zealand tour, starting from December 18. The players, along with 20-member players support personnel, will depart for Lincoln on 23 November where they will spend the mandatory 14-day quarantine period, according to a official media release.
While the Shaheens schedule is yet to be confirmed by New Zealand Cricket, Pakistan men’s national team will play three T20Is on 18, 20 and 22 December, and the ICC World Test Championship fixtures will be held in Mount Maunganui and Christchurch on 26-30 December and 3-7 January, respectively.
The dream has come true and I thank the PCB for showing faith in me as a captain: Babar Azam
“I remember being a ball picker in a Test match and at that time I thought what an honour it would be to play for Pakistan. The dream has come true and I thank the PCB for showing faith in me as a captain as well,” the top batsman said in a video message released by the PCB.
“I have played under and learnt a lot from Azhar and Sarfaraz. And I will definitely seek their advice and pick up things from their mindset which will help me become a good Test captain,” he said Babar’s message was released shortly after Azhar Ali tweeted that he offered his full support to Babar.
Apart from the 35 players involved in pre-series intra-squad matches as part of their preparations, Pakistan men’s national team players not involved in international matches against New Zealand will be available for selection for the Shaheens’ matches against New Zealand A.
This means Test players not involved in the T20Is in the first half of the series against New Zealand will be available for selection for Shaheens, who are expected to be playing four-day matches against New Zealand A during that period.
Likewise, when the national side is involved in the ICC World Test Championship matches against New Zealand, national men’s team players not part of those matches will be available for selection for the Shaheens, who are expected to be involved in 20-over games against New Zealand A during those days.