The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has allowed cricketers to bring their families and support staff along for the New Zealand series to give players a break from the mental stress that comes with living alone in a bio-secure bubble.
The cricket series between Pakistan and New Zealand will kick off from September 17. The New Zealand team, arriving in Pakistan after 18 years for a cricket series, will play three ODIs and five T20Is.
The ODIs will be played on September 17, 19 and 21 at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium. The two teams will also play five T20I matches on September 25, 26 and 29, October 1 and 3 at the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore.
The national squad will arrive in Islamabad on September 8 to prepare for the series against New Zealand, according to the PCB. After a day of quarantine, the national squad will start training on September 10.
The board is likely to announce the squad by September 7. The toss for the ODI series will take place at 2pm while the first innings is scheduled to begin from 2:30pm and last till 6pm. The second innings of the match will kick off from 6:30pm and is expected to conclude by 10pm.
The toss of the T20 International matches will be held at 6:30pm. The first innings of the match is scheduled to begin from 7pm and last till 8:25pm while the second innings will be played from 8:45pm to 10:10pm.
Keeping in view the mental health issues faced by the Pakistani players during the New Zealand tour while spending quarantine time, the PCB, in December last year, had allowed members of the national cricket squad to accompany their families with them, both home and abroad, during the series against South Africa, Zimbabwe, England and West Indies.
However, the board reversed its decision in June and did not allow players and support staff to bring their families along during the England tour.
NCOC allows 25% spectators
On Monday [August 30], the PCB announced that the National Command and Operation Centre (NCOC) has approved a 25% crowd attendance for the series.
The decision means that it will be possible for around 4,500 spectators to show up at the stadium for the ODIs series matches, while approximately 5,500 spectators will be able to watch the live-action at the venue during the Twenty20 series, the PCB said.
Only spectators who are fully vaccinated and have immunisation certificates for coronavirus will be allowed entry inside the stadiums, the statement said.
Following the NCOC decision, the PCB will shortly announce ticket prices and other details for New Zealand’s tour, the statement said.
“I am sure following the NCOC decision, the unvaccinated cricket followers will expedite their vaccination process so that they can witness the first series on home soil between the two sides since 2003,” PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said.—APP