The New Zealand cricket team arrived in the country’s capital on Saturday to play three ODIs and five T20Is series against Pakistan after a long gap of 18 years. New Zealand cricket team reached Islamabad on a chartered flight from Bangladesh. The players will have a Covid PCR test at a local accommodation facility after which the players will be allowed to participate in the practice session. After negative test results, the Black Caps will be allowed to start training. An intra-squad match for the New Zealand cricket team is scheduled on September 15. New Zealand team last toured the South Asian country in November 2003 when they played five ODI matches. A year before, their last Test appearance in Pakistan was at the Gaddafi Stadium in May 2002. Pakistan have thrice hosted New Zealand for ODIs in the United Arab Emirates with the Black Caps winning the 2009-10 and 2014-15 series )2-1 and 3-2, respectively) and drawing the 2018-19 series 1-1. However, Pakistan won the 2009-10 and 2018-19 T20I series by 2-0 and 3-0, respectively, while the 2014-15 series was tied at 1-1. New Zealand drew the 2014-15 Test series 1-1 and won the 2018-19 series by 2-1. Venue & Schedule Rawalpindi’s Pindi Cricket Stadium will be the venue of the 17, 19 and 21 September ODIs, while the historic Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore will stage the five T20Is from 25 September to 3 October. While the Rawalpindi ODIs will count towards the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 qualification, third position on the ICC T20I team rankings will be up for Lahore. The ICC World Test Championship winners will return to Pakistan next year to play Test matches. Moreover, New Zealand visit will be a bumper 2021-22 season for the local cricket fans and supporters. After this New Zealand’s tour, England’s men and women sides will play white-ball matches in Pakistan before West Indies are expected to arrive in Karachi in December for three ODIs and three T20Is. Australia is scheduled to undertake a full tour in February/March 2022. Status of ODI series changed In an important development, the PCB and New Zealand Cricket have mutually agreed to change the status of next week’s ODI series to a bilateral series from the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League match due to the non-availability of the Decision Review System (DRS), a requirement in the event playing conditions. As New Zealand will return to Pakistan in the 2022-23 season to play two Tests and three ODIs, the two boards have agreed that these 50-over matches will now count towards the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 qualification.