Pakistan calls up players for National T20 after New Zealand withdrawal

Tournament to feature top Pakistani cricketers who will play for six provincial associations

06:44 PM | 19 Sep, 2021
Pakistan calls up players for National T20 after New Zealand withdrawal
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Pakistani cricketers have been called up for the National T20 Cup starting from September 23.

The decision has been taken in the wake of New Zealand’s decision to pull out of a cricket series against Pakistan in Rawalpindi at the last minute due to some unfounded security threats.

The national tournament, initially scheduled to be played in Multan from September 25, will now start two days ahead of the schedule in Rawalpindi where matches will be held till October. The second phase of the national tournament will be played in Lahore from October 4-11.

The national event will feature all top Pakistani cricketers who will play for six provincial associations.

Pakistan’s national cricket team was scheduled to play three ODIs and five T20Is against New Zealand, who unilaterally abandoned their tour minutes before the first one-dayer citing security threats.

The New Zealand-Pakistan cricket series was being considered a great opportunity for the green shirts to prepare for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which is set to be held in the United Arab Emirates and Oman from October 17 to November 14.

Now, Pakistan’s domestic National T20 Cup will give fans an opportunity to witness a star-studded domestic cricket event.

Pakistan are also scheduled to play England in two T20Is on October 13 and 14. However, after New Zealand’s withdrawal, England series is now in doubt.

“We’re aware of New Zealand’s decision to pull out of the Pakistan tour due to a security alert,” an England and Wales Cricket Board spokesperson was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

“The ECB Board will then decide in the next 24-48 hours whether our planned tour should proceed.”

The England women’s team are also due to play three ODIs in Pakistan on October 17, 19, and 21.

Earlier on Saturday, PCB Chairman Ramiz Raja spoke to cricket fans through a video message and said the Pakistan cricket team would become the world’s best. The message came a day after New Zealand abandoned its Pakistan tour citing ‘security reasons’.

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