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Pakistan, New Zealand build towards World Cup with ODI series

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  • Babar Azam confident Pakistan will do well in white-ball format.
  • Shaheen Afridi and Shadab Khan missing due to injuries.
  • Second and third ODIs to be played on January 11 and 13.

KARACHI: Pakistan and New Zealand will face off in the first of three one-day internationals in Karachi today (Monday), with an eye on this year’s World Cup in India.

The preceding Test series between the two teams failed to produce a result in either of the two Tests — both in Karachi — ending a miserable season for both teams.

Pakistan failed to win any of their three-Test series at home, losing four of the eight Tests, including their first-ever 3-0 whitewash at the hands of England.

New Zealand also failed to win any of their last six Tests.

But Babar Azam is confident his team will do well in the limited over matches.

“Pakistan has proved themselves to be a good white-ball team, and this series provides us a perfect launching pad to kickstart our World Cup preparations,” said Azam of the World Cup in October/November.

Azam´s team won eight one-day internationals last year, including a 2-1 series win over a formidable Australia at home.

“We are a well-rounded side with solid batters and bowlers who have proved themselves time and again so I am confident of doing well in the coming series,” said Azam.

Pakistan will miss pace spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi, who is recovering from a knee injury sustained in November last year while spinning allrounder Shadab Khan is also out with a recent finger fracture.

Opener Fakhar Zaman will bolster the batting, as well as Haris Sohail — recalled after two years.

New Zealand, runners-up in the last World Cup in 2019, won ten of their 16 ODIs last year and have a strong unit led by Kane Williamson.

They have been dominant against Pakistan, having won 12 of the last 15 ODIs between the two teams.

Williamson is also concentrating on World Cup, having relinquished Test captaincy.

“I felt that continuing to captain the white-ball formats was preferable with two World Cups in the next two years,” he said last month, referring to the 2023 ODI and 2024 T20 World Cups.

The accomplished batter acknowledged Pakistan’s strengths.

“Pakistan is a very strong side and naturally know these conditions very well,” said Williamson.

“For us as a team it’s focusing on the cricket we want to play and try put out some improved performances.”

New Zealand pacer Matt Henry is also out of ODIs with an abdominal strain sustained on the final day of the drawn second Test.

For varied reasons, they are already missing pace trio Trent Boult, Kyle Jamieson and Adam Milne.

The remaining matches are on Wednesday and Friday, also in Karachi.

Teams:

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Tom Latham, Finn Allen, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Blair Tickner

Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim, Naseem Shah, Agha Salman, Shahnawaz Dahani, Shan Masood, Tayyab Tahir, Usama Mir

Umpires: Aleem Dar (PAK) and Asif Yaqoob (PAK)

TV umpire: Ahsan Raza (PAK)

Match referee: David Boon (AUS)

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PSL 9: Basit Ali offers a daring leadership recommendation for PCB

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In order to raise the status of Green Shirts, former cricketer-turned-coach Basit Ali stated in the most recent episode of PSL special show “Har Lamha Purjosh,” hosted by Waseem Badami, that it is a good idea for new PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi to give wicketkeeper-batsman Muhammad Rizwan the captaincy of the national team.

In order to improve Pakistani cricket, he stated, “I believe that now is the ideal time to name Rizwan captain.” “This is the right time to take this bold step and name him captain. I have some free advice for the newly appointed PCB chairman.”

In the recently concluded Pakistan vs. New Zealand series, he further criticised left-arm pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi’s captaincy, claiming that it even caused his pace to decline. He went on to say, “The 4-1 defeat by New Zealand after Babar’s removal from captaincy is a good enough reason that bold decisions must be made now to prepare ahead of the World Cup.”

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PSL 9 match security details released

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The PSL will see over 16,000 police officers handling security responsibilities since matches in Rawalpindi and Multan will have a security strategy in place.

Colin Munro and Tymal Mills of Islamabad United landed in Lahore, and the team will play Lahore Qalandars to open the season.

Mohsin Naqvi, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), announced that the PSL’s ninth season will start on February 17.

He stated that the duration of the traffic closure would be limited and that the public would be notified about other routes through the media in a timely manner. He also directed that effective management be made to preserve fluency for the convenience of the people.

The Lahore DIG Operations Police announced that around 7000 people will be assigned to a security strategy that would guarantee spectators, including cricket players, complete security.

According to the security plan, residents would be permitted entry after completing four levels of security, and 13 SPs, 36 DSPs, and 81 inspectors would be stationed. The situation would also be continually monitored by the Punjab Safe City Authority’s cameras.

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PCB Chairman Mohsin Naqvi requests an in-depth spending report.

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Mohsin Naqvi, the recently elected chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), has started a thorough investigation of the organization’s spending.

The request, which is aimed at the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO), highlights the organization’s careful attention to financial management.

Information obtained from people with knowledge of the situation reveals that the scope of the spending report includes all aspects of PCB’s business.

These consist of funding for the Pakistan cricket team, expenditures for sports personnel, and match-related costs. Furthermore, the report will give information on the PCB’s yearly budget and player compensation.

Chairman Naqvi’s decision is more than just a formality; it reflects a deeper desire to link spending to the national cricket team’s results.

It is believed that Chairman Naqvi is eager to examine the monetary outlays in comparison to the results achieved on the field, suggesting a calculated approach to resource distribution.

Chairman Naqvi is scheduled to call a briefing with the PCB’s senior brass after the comprehensive report has been prepared.

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