Pakistan captain Babar Azam and New Zealand captain Tom Latham are ready to make history, when both teams will square off in the first ODI at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on Friday.
The occasion will see the tourists play their first match on Pakistan soil since 2003. This will be the fourth time the two sides will meet at the historic stadium in an ODI with Pakistan enjoying a 3-0 advantage.
“Finally, the day has arrived,” said Babar in a pre-series press conference. “Our entire camp is very excited to play New Zealand at home.”
The 26-year-old was optimistic to take full advantage of the home conditions during the three-match series.
“We have a balanced squad and I remain optimistic about our chances in what promises to be an exciting series,” he said. “I am sure fans at the stadium and millions watching us on screens will enjoy these matches.”
Meanwhile, Latham termed the series a historic moment for Pakistan cricket and expressed his excitement to be part of it. “Pakistan are a quality side and they have some talented white-ball players in their line-up.
“We have desired fire-power in our ranks to win this series and I am sure our batters and bowlers will rise to the occasion and make this historic series memorable for us.”
The second and third matches will be played on 19 and 21 September at the same venue after which the two sides will travel to Lahore for five T20Is between 25 September to 3 October.
The series will not be part of the ICC World Cup Super League as both the PCB and NZC have mutually agreed to swap the status of this series with the one taking place in the 2022-23 season.