LAHORE: Pakistan will make a trip Down Under later in the year to take on Australia for the Benaud-Qadir Trophy. The three Tests – part of the third World Test Championship cycle – will be played at Perth, Melbourne and Sydney in December and January. The tour will open at the Perth Stadium on December 14 and it will mark the first instance of Pakistan playing a Test at the venue. The two teams will face off in the Boxing Day Test at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground from December 26 till 30 and the third and final match will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground from January 3, 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 century – 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 Brisbane 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. Women’s Test cricket in Perth: Test cricket will return to the WACA in Perth, with the Australia women’s team set to face South Africa for the first time in the format as part of their multi-format series early in 2024. It will be one of three Tests Australia will play in nine months following the Ashes encounter in June and one on the multi-format tour of India set for December and January. However, unlike the five-day Ashes Test, the match against South Africa will be over four days. Cricket Australia (CA) on Sunday announced the home fixtures for the 2023-24 season, which apart from Pakistan visit for three Tests, also includes both West Indies men’s and women’s sides. West Indies men are touring in consecutive seasons due to a quirk in the next FTP, with their Tests taking place in Adelaide, which will revert to a day game for one season, and then Brisbane which will host a day-night encounter. The men’s Test summer stretches deep into January next season due to the 2023 ODI World Cup then a five-match T20I series tacked on afterwards, meaning Australia won’t return home until early December. However, the T20 and Test teams are likely to look very different. Adelaide will host a red-ball Test against West Indies from January 17, before a day-night Test at the Gabba from January 25. It means all Tests will fall in the holiday period. White-ball players will be available for the entire men’s BBL, before they enter camp for three ODIs and three T20s against West Indies between February 2 and 13. But the opening of the international season risks being completely overshadowed by the National Rugby League (NRL), with the first match scheduled for Sydney on grand final day with Australia’s women playing West Indies in a T20I at North Sydney Oval on October 1. There is some good news for the women in the upcoming fixtures, however. After three T20Is and three ODIs against West Indies early in the summer, they host a multi-format series against South Africa in January and February. Included is a day-night ODI at a major venue, Adelaide Oval, on February 3, followed by the Test on the pacy WACA wicket from February 15. Pakistan schedule in Australia: Dec 14-18: First Test, Perth Stadium Dec 26-30: Second Test, Melbourne Cricket Ground Jan 3-7: Third Test, Sydney Cricket Ground.