The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has begun planning for the tour of New Zealand scheduled to take place in January and December. Reportedly, the PCB is targetting to send a large group of players to New Zealand beforehand so they could get acclimatized to the conditions. Pakistan’s recent series was against England in their backyard, losing the Test series and drawing the T20Is.
According to the Press Trust of India, the PCB is keen on sending around 40 to 45 players for the tour, which also includes the Pakistan A players. From December to January, the men in green will take part in three T20 internationals and two Tests, which will be part of the ICC World Test Championship. Pakistan last visited New Zealand in early 2018, losing the ODI series comprehensively and managing a victory in the T20 rubber.
A PCB source underlined that an extended number of players would visit New Zealand, owing to strict COVID-19 regulations in the nation. The players also have to serve a quarantine period of 14 days and spend time in a bio-secure bubble before beginning their games.
“Enhanced number of players will be in both squads due to strict Covid-19 regulations and protocols in New Zealand and the players and officials, after reaching there early, have to spend 14 days in quarantine and enter a bio-secure bubble before starting their matches,” the source stated as quoted by Cricket Pakistan.
PCB recognizes that domestic competitions would be badly hit:
The trusted source of PCB added that due to the COVID-19 situation if many top players go to New Zealand, it will affect the quality of domestic competitions. The Pakistan ‘A’ side has several four-day matches lined up New Zealand apart from the national team’s commitments.
“The problem is that due to the Covid-19 situation, if so many top players are sent to New Zealand, the quality of the domestic competitions will be badly hit,” the source said further.
Meanwhile, New Zealand Cricket (NZC) earlier announced that Australia, West Indies, Bangladesh and Pakistan would tour the nation despite the ongoing pandemic.