Thursday Sep 09, 2021
The Civil Aviation Authority ( CAA) of Pakistan has exempted the New Zealand cricket team from the Covid-19 test at all airports in the country as the team is set to land in the country to play Pakistan in an ODI and Twenty20 series.
The New Zealand cricketers are visiting Pakistan for the first time for a cricket series after a gap of 18 years. New Zealand's tour to Pakistan was cut short in 2002 after a bomb explosion outside the team's hotel in Karachi. The Kiwis played a one-day series in 2003, but there have been no tours to Pakistan since.
The CAA has issued the special permit after the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) sought the authority to do so. "Approval is hereby accorded in respect of New Zealand cricket team, with details mentioned in the enclosed documents(s), for travel to Pakistan without Rapid Antigen Testing upon arrival in Pakistan," states the letter from the authority.
The New Zealand cricket team will fly to Pakistan on board a chartered plane of Bangladesh's Biman Bangladesh Airlines flight and land at the Islamabad airport on September 11.
The Kiwis will arrive in Pakistan aboard flight-BG4031, the CAA said.
Meantime, Pakistan's federal cabinet this week approved the security plan for the hosts, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry said.
The federal minister said "extraordinary" security would be provided to the New Zealand team, as an unfortunate incident had occurred during their last tour to Pakistan.
Also, Pakistan earlier this week announced squad for the upcoming ICC Men's T20 Cricket World Cup, which is scheduled to take place from October 17.
Chief Selector Muhammad Waseem announced a 15-man squad, with three players selected as reserves. The same team will play the home series against New Zealand and England in the coming weeks.
Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan (vice-captain), Asif Ali, Azam Khan (wicketkeeper), Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah,
Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Hasnain, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohaib Maqsood
Traveling reserves — Fakhar Zaman, Shahnawaz Dahani, and Usman Qadir
In an extended series, New Zealand will play three ODIs and five T20Is on their first visit to Pakistan after 18 years.
The three ODIs will be part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League ODIs, confirmed both boards.
Rawalpindi’s Pindi Cricket Stadium will be the venue of the 17, 19, and 21 September ODIs, while the iconic Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore will stage the five T20Is from September 25 to October 3.