Cricket

New Zealand ready for a crack at Pakistan as security tight

"The guys are ecstatic to be here; it's been a long time coming, so they're all grateful to get this opportunity... and to take on this very talented Pakistan team," he said during a Zoom press conference.

New Zealand cricket coach Glenn Pocknall said on Tuesday that his team was ready to take on Pakistan, claiming that the players’ tight security would not be a distraction.

After terror attacks on the Sri Lankan team in 2009, international cricket in Pakistan was suspended, but it has slowly resumed in the last two years.

“Coming from Bangladesh, where we had convoys for two weeks, I believe we are now accustomed to (the protection). So it’s just a continuation of what we had there “Pocknall spoke in place of usual coach Gary Stead, who was on vacation.

“The guys are ecstatic to be here; it’s been a long time coming, so they’re all grateful to get this opportunity… and to take on this very talented Pakistan team,” he said during a Zoom press conference.

New Zealand landed in two waves on Saturday and early Sunday, with armed guards escorting their armored buses, a degree of security usually reserved for visiting heads of state.

The Black Cap squad is staying in an Islamabad hotel guarded by a large paramilitary and police contingent. They are returning for the first time since 2003.

They’ve traveled from Bangladesh, where they were defeated in a Twenty20 international series by Bangladesh 3-1.

Martin Guptill, who arrived early on Sunday, described how the team was ushered off the plane and into an armoured van.

“We had a dozen or so police cars following us, as well as armed soldiers and a large number of cars in the motorcade. We had the impression that we were in very safe hands “At a Zoom press conference on Monday, Guptill stated.

“There are some nerves, but they’re there to protect us,” he said, adding that the team was eager to get out on the field.

Their first One-Day International (ODI) against Pakistan will be place in Rawalpindi, Pakistan’s garrison city near the capital Islamabad, on Saturday, followed by two more tests on Sunday and Tuesday.

In addition, the two teams will compete in five Twenty20 internationals, all of which will take place in Lahore.

The Sri Lankan cricket team was the first to visit Pakistan in 2019, while South Africa returned for a 14-year tour in January.

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