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Babar Azam and team begin training ahead of New Zealand series

Babar Azam with team at Lahore Stadium – Photo PCB

The Pakistan Cricket Team began their training camp for the upcoming series against New Zealand at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore on Friday. Players participated in running, fielding drills, and net practice sessions to prepare for the matches.

Captain Babar Azam addressed his team at the training camp, with supervisor Abdul Rehman present to welcome newcomers Abbas Afridi, Saim Ayub, and Ihsanullah. The series kicks off with the first T20 match in Lahore on April 14, followed by the second T20I on the subsequent day.

The third T20I will take place on April 17, after which the teams will head to Rawalpindi for the fourth T20I on April 20. Following a three-day break for Eid, the final T20I will be held on April 24.

Shakeel Shaikh, a senior member of the management committee, accompanied Babar Azam as they spoke with pitch curators, instructing them to prepare batting-friendly pitches. This decision comes after the Pakistani batters struggled against Afghanistan due to bowler-friendly pitches that prevented them from scoring high totals in the first two matches.

Last week, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced two separate T20 and ODI squads for the New Zealand tour, which starts next month. Babar Azam will captain both full-strength squads, with Shadab Khan serving as vice-captain.

Star fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi is expected to make his international comeback after a four-month hiatus. The series, taking place in Lahore, Rawalpindi, and Karachi, will run from April 14 to May 7.

Pakistan Squad (T20 and ODI) against New Zealand

T20I: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Faheem Ashraf, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Ihsanullah, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Saim Ayub, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood and Zaman Khan

ODI: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Haris Sohail, Ihsanullah, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Salman Ali Agha, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood and Usama Mir

Pakistan vs New Zealand Series schedule (T20Is to start at 9pm; ODIs to begin at 3.30pm):

  • 14 Apr – 1st T20I, Lahore
  • 15 Apr – 2nd T20I, Lahore
  • 17 Apr – 3rd T20I, Lahore
  • 20 Apr – 4th T20I, Rawalpindi
  • 24 Apr – 5th T20I, Rawalpindi
  • 27 Apr – 1st ODI, Rawalpindi
  • 29 Apr – 2nd ODI, Rawalpindi
  • 3 May – 3rd ODI, Karachi
  • 5 May – 4th ODI, Karachi
  • 7 May – 5th ODI, Karachi

Check out full Series Schedule, Squads and Match updates during New Zealand tour of Pakistan 2023 here.

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