Pakistan to host Test series with Bangladesh, England and WI – Sport

LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday announced the schedule of home Test matches against Bangladesh, England and the West Indies, and a One-day International tri-series involving South Africa and New Zealand in a packed schedule starting in August and lasting until February next year.

Interestingly, the PCB ignored the Gaddafi Stadium, the venue of its headquarters, for the national team’s three home Test series and the tri-nation ODI series.

According to a press release issued by the PCB on Friday, Bangladesh will play two Tests in Rawalpindi and Karachi from Aug 21 to Sept 3.

Then Pakistan will host England for three Tests in Multan, Karachi and Rawalpindi during October. The West Indies will tour Pakistan for a two-Test rubber in Karachi and Multan during January 2025.

In February, a tri-nation ODI series featuring Pakistan, New Zealand and South Africa will be staged in Multan.

The ongoing refurbishment of the Gaddafi Stadium is the reason given by the PCB for Lahore not getting a Test match in the forthcoming home season. However, renovation work at the venues of Karachi and Rawalpindi is also going to start in a few days.

“Karachi, Multan and Rawalpindi will share the seven Tests and four ODIs between them. The Gaddafi Stadium is currently undergoing redesign and redevelopment work as part of preparations for the ICC Champions Trophy 2025, but is expected to be ready to stage most of the high-profile matches from Feb 19 to March 9. The ICC will announce further details of the Champions Trophy in due course,” said the PCB press release.

Besides the home contests, the Pakistan team will tour Australia, South Africa and Zimbabwe between November 2024 and January 2025, during which they will play two Tests, nine ODIs and nine T20 Internationals against these countries.

The international season will conclude with the final of the Champions Trophy — which Pakistan is going to host — scheduled for March 9. Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, South Africa and hosts Pakistan will feature in the event.

“From August 2024 to March 2025, the Pakistan men’s team will play nine Tests, nine T20Is and, at least, 14 ODIs. The number of ODIs may incre­ase based on their performance in the ODI tri-series and the ICC Champions Trophy,” read the PCB statement.

Pakistan’s nine Tests against Bangladesh, England, West Indies and South Africa (away) are part of the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25. To date, Pakistan have played five Tests in two series against Sri Lanka and Australia, winning two and losing three.

This has placed them in fifth position on the table with 22 points. India lead the table with 74 points after three series, followed by Australia (90 points from four series), New Zealand (36 from three series), and Sri Lanka (24 from two series).

Bangladesh last played a Test in Pakistan in February 2020 while England swept a three-Test series in December 2022. The forthcoming season will also mark the West Indies’ first Test tour to Pakistan since November 2006 when Brian Lara captained the side against Inzamam-ul-Haq and his men.

Pakistan last hosted the West Ind­ies for a Test series in October 2016 at neutral venues of the UAE.

Commenting on the finalisation of the forthcoming home season, PCB chairman Mohsin Naqvi said it would give ample time to the players and team management to prepare properly.

“It was critically important for us to finalise, lock and announce our 2024-25 home international cricket season now. This ensures that both the men’s cricket team management and the PCB event staff have sufficient time to prepare, plan and deliver these series to our very high expectations and standards, showcasing Pakistan as an outstanding cricket nation and the PCB as a thoroughly professional organisation,” Mohsin said.

“The visits by five top cricket playing nations in the lead-up to the ICC Champions Trophy 2025, followed by seven countries participating in the event proper over the next eight months, also highlight Pakistan’s standing and stature in international cricket. We deeply value the participation of these teams and players, who will bring immense talent and competitive spirit to our fields,” the PCB chief added.

Bangladesh Cricket Board chief executive Nizam Uddin Chowdhury expressed his delight at his team’s forthcoming series in Pakistan.

“We thank the PCB for confirming the schedule for Bangladesh’s tour of Pakistan for the ICC World Test Championship matches. The series presents a significant test for us, but it is also a chance to showcase our progress in this format,” the BCB chief said.

Bangladesh Test captain Najmul Hossain Shanto said it would be a cha­l­lenge facing Pakistan on their soil.

“As a team we are looking forward to returning to Pakistan for the ICC World Test Championship,” Najmul said. “Playing in Pakistan is always a challenging but an exciting prospect, and we will have to be at our very best to compete against a formidable home side in their backyard.”

England and Wales Cricket Board chief executive Richard Gould hoped for an exciting Test series in Pakistan.

“We’re really excited to be returning to Pakistan for this three-match men’s Test tour in October,” Gould said.

“Our last men’s Test tour of Pakistan produced some memorable matches and I’m sure fans can look forward to more exciting cricket across this forthcoming series.”

Expressing his pleasure over the upcoming series in Pakistan, Cricket West Indies chief executive Johnny Grave said: “We are pleased to be visiting Pakistan next January for the final Test Series in the current cycle of the ICC World Test Championship.

“Whilst we have toured Pakistan many times in recent years, it will have been almost two decades since we last played Test cricket there. The 2006 series also had Tests in both Karachi and Multan, and we look forward to returning for a competitive series against another proud Test cricketing nation.”

Schedule of Pakistan’s home international season (2024-25):

Bangladesh in Pakistan:

Aug 21-25: First Test, Rawalpindi

Aug 30-Sept 3: Second Test, Karachi

England in Pakistan:

Oct 7-11: First Test, Multan

Oct 15-19: Second Test, Karachi

Oct 24-28: Third Test, Rawalpindi

West Indies in Pakistan:

Jan 16-20: First Test, Karachi

Jan 24-28: Second Test, Multan

Tri-nation ODI series (all matches to be staged in Multan):

Feb 8: Pakistan vs New Zealand

Feb 10: New Zealand vs South Africa

Feb 12: Pakistan vs South Africa

Feb 14: Final

ICC Champions Trophy (schedule to be announced by ICC):

Feb 19 to March 9

Schedule of Pakistan’s away international matches (2024-25):

Pakistan in Australia:

Nov 4: First ODI, Melbourne

Nov 8: Second ODI, Adelaide

Nov 10: Third ODI, Perth

Nov 14: First T20 International, Brisbane

Nov 16: Second T20 International, Sydney

Nov 18: Third T20 International, Hobart

Pakistan in Zimbabwe:

Nov 24: First ODI, Bulawayo

Nov 26: Second ODI, Bulawayo

Nov 28: Third ODI, Bulawayo

Dec 1: First T20 International, Bulawayo

Dec 3: Second T20 International, Bulawayo

Dec 5: Third T20 International, Bulawayo

Pakistan in South Africa:

Dec 10: First T20 International, Durban

Dec 13: Second T20 International, Centurion

Dec 14: Third T20 International, Johannesburg

Dec 17: First ODI, Paarl

Dec 19: Second ODI, Cape Town

Dec 22: Third ODI, Johannesburg

Dec 26-30: First Test, Centurion

Jan 3-7: Second Test, Cape Town

Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2024

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