PAK vs NZ: Babar Azam is on verge of breaking record of Imran Khan
Babar Azam

2022 T20 World Cup runners up Pakistan are all set to lock horns against 2021 T20 World Cup runners up New Zealand in a five match T20 International series which is set to commence from 18th April. The first three games of the series will be played at Rawalpindi’s Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium and the action will then shift to Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium for the final two T20i’s.

Ahead of the New Zealand series, interim head coach of Pakistan’s Men’s National Cricket team Azhar Mahmood has hinted at the possibility of captain Babar Azam getting rest from some games of the series. This decision goes in accordance with the rotation policy of the Pakistan Cricket Board as they want to manage the workload of their key players ahead of the 2024 T20 World Cup.

“We can definitely give Babar some rest for some games, but it will depend on the situation. We will consider all the factors before making our final decision,” Azhar Mahmood said.

Mahmood also talked about the main objectives of the Pakistan Cricket Board – which is to create a proper structure, a proper game plan and provide players a proper clarity regarding their roles in the team, which would help Pakistan perform well in the upcoming 2024 T20 World Cup. Ahead of this year’s mega event, the Shaheens are scheduled to play seven T20 international games post the conclusion of the New Zealand series – Three games against Ireland and four matches against the 2022 T20 World Cup winners England. Azhar Mahmood also mentioned that Pakistan will be exploring their bench strength in the T20i games before the World Cup so that a strong squad can be selected for this year’s mega event.

“Currently, we are looking to create a proper and a suitable structure, a competitive game plan and provide a proper clarity to the players regarding their roles in the team, which will help us perform well in the World Cup. We have a lot of youngsters in our squad who have the potential to become world class players and we have to give chances to them which will help us in the identification of our bench strength. We will be making full use of it and our main aim is to field the best possible playing 11 when we play our first game of the 2024 T20 World Cup on 6th June,” Azhar said.

Left arm seamer Mohammad Amir and spin bowling all rounder Imad Wasim recently came out of retirement and made their comebacks to the National squad as the selectors have picked them for the New Zealand series.

Azhar Mahmood is pretty confident about all the departments of the squad and said, “I am pretty happy with the squad. We have covered all the aspects of the game and we have a pretty balanced squad at our disposal. We have two very good all – rounders and our fast bowling unit is very strong as well.”

READ: Shaheen Shah Afridi set to miss the first two T20I’s