Pakistan will make a trip Down Under later in the year to take on Australia for the Benaud-Qadir Tro-phy. The three Tests – part of the third World Test Championship cycle – will be played at Perth, Mel-bourne and Sydney in December and January.
The tour will open at the Perth Stadium on 14 December and it will mark the first instance of Paki-stan playing a Test at the venue. The two teams will face off in the Boxing Day Test at the iconic Mel-bourne Cricket Ground from 26 till 30 December and the third and final match will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground from 3 January, 2024. Pakistan have played 10 Tests at the MCG and eight at the SCG – at both venues they have won two matches each.
In the lead-up to the series, Pakistan will play a four-day warm-up to acclimatise to the conditions Down Under.
This will be Pakistan captain Babar Azam’s third Test tour of Australia. The prolific stroke-maker previously landed on the Australian soil in December 2016, under Misbah-ul-Haq’s captaincy, and November 2019, when Azhar Ali was the captain of the side.
The right-hander has 278 runs – including a cen-tury – in five Tests. On the 2019 tour, Babar scored a century in the second innings in the first Test in Brisbane and followed it up with a 97 at Adelaide.
Naseem Shah made his Pakistan debut at Bris-bane in November 2019 and since has evolved as mainstay in Pakistan’s bowling line-up across all formats. The right-arm speedster has 80 wickets in 42 matches.
Pakistan last toured Australia for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and finished as the finalists.
The Benaud-Qadir Trophy was launched in 2022 when Australia arrived in Pakistan after 16 years for a three-Test series. Pat Cummin’s side bagged the first iteration as they bagged the series 1-0 after defeating Pakistan in Lahore in the third and final Test.
14-18 Dec: First Test, Perth Stadium
26-30 Dec: Second Test, Melbourne Cricket Ground
3-7 Jan: Third Test, Sydney Cricket Ground.—APP